Helicopter Carrying Yazidis Crashes in Iraq: Report

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A helicopter carrying Yazidi refugees away from an Iraqi mountain crashed on Tuesday, killing the pilot and injuring a war correspondent for The New York Times who was on board, the newspaper reported. Members of the Iraqi parliament, including one who belongs to the Yazidi minority, were also believed to be on board, a senior Kurdish intelligence official told NBC News.

The helicopter, which belonged to the Kurdish government, had dropped off aid for the Yazidis and picked up evacuees, the newspaper reported. A Kurdish official told the newspaper that rescue helicopters later took the Yazidis to safety. The newspaper identified the correspondent as Alissa J. Rubin, its Paris bureau chief. It said that she had suffered broken wrists and an apparent concussion but was conscious. Tens of thousands of Yazidis have been trapped for days in the Sinjar mountains of Iraq, cornered by fighters from the Islamist militant group ISIS. The United States has dropped food and water to the refugees. The Associated Press quoted an Iraqi military spokesman as saying that the helicopter was Russian-made. The spokesman had no details on casualties.


— Erin McClam