- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2007

12:45 p.m.

BAGHDAD (AP) — A U.S. Army helicopter made a “hard landing” in northern Iraq today, but the military said the problem was mechanical and not the result of hostile fire.

Last week, ground fire forced a Black Hawk helicopter to make an emergency landing north of Baghdad, the military said. At least eight other U.S. helicopters have crashed or been brought down by hostile fire in Iraq this year.

Two pilots were injured in the incident today and evacuated to an American military hospital in Kirkuk, about 180 miles north of Baghdad, the military said. There was no word on the extent of the pilots’ injuries.

The helicopter, an OH-58 Kiowa, is mostly used in surveillance and some light combat missions.

The military also announced the killing yesterday of a U.S. Marine in the western Anbar province, a hotbed of the Sunni insurgency. The death brought to 79 the total number of Americans killed in Iraq in February.

Baghdad appeared quieter today, with only one person killed in a roadside bomb, police said. The lull came a day after a car bomb ripped through a bustling shopping district in western Baghdad, killing at least 10 persons and wounding about 20.

The U.S. military said today American and Iraqi troops killed 10 militants and seized six weapon stashes in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad. The raids took place during the past three days, it said.


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