- The Washington Times - Monday, December 11, 2006

12:44 p.m.

BAGHDAD (AP) — A U.S. Marine helicopter carrying 21 persons made a hard landing in Anbar Province today, injuring 18, the military said.

Hostile action did not appear to be the cause of the problem suffered by the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter while conducting a routine passenger and cargo flight at noon, it said.

Eighteen persons were injured, including nine who were treated and returned to duty, the U.S. command said in a brief statement.

In violence today, three explosions struck Baghdad within a span of two hours, police said, after a roadside bomb in the capital killed three U.S. soldiers and wounded two on a late-night patrol. Insurgents often plant such explosives and hide nearby to set them off with hidden electrical cords or cell phone devices as coalition convoys pass.

The three deaths raised to 46 the number of American troops who have died this month. At least 2,934 members of the U.S. military have died since the war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

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