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F-16 Fighter Jet Crashes in Arizona Near Mexico Border

by Shamar Walters, Henry Austin and Phil Helsel /  / Updated 

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An F-16 fighter jet crashed during a night training mission in Arizona on Wednesday night, killing the pilot and sparking a brush fire.

The pilot was an Iraqi trainee, two U.S. military officials told NBC News. The officials said the unidentified trainee was at a very advanced stage in his training and was refueling when the incident happened.

The pilot was the only person on board, officials said.

The aircraft came down at around 8 p.m. local time (11 p.m. ET), five miles east of Douglas Municipal Airport. The border town is about 230 miles southeast of Phoenix, just north of Mexico.

U.S. Army personnel from Fort Huachuca were sent to secure the crash site until Air Force officials arrived.

The crash sparked a brush fire, Douglas Fire Department Lt. Matt King told NBC News.

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