Video shows Iraq helicopter attack

Al-Qaeda-linked fighters claim they shot down a US helicopter on Wednesday.

    Wednesday's crash was the sixth helicopter loss for the US in Iraq since January 20 [GALLO/GETTY]
    The video was issued by the Islamic State in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iraqi fighter groups.
     
    US denial
     
    James Conway, US marines commandant-general, said his forces did not believe that the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter, the Marine-version of the Chinook, was shot down.
     
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    US military officials said early indications were that the craft's loss was due to mechanical failure.
     
    The Islamic State in Iraq issued a written claim of responsibility on Wednesday for the craft's downing and had promised a video would follow.
     
    The video, entitled "the Hell of Christians and Apostates in Iraq", was posted on a web forum where fighter groups often post messages.
     
    Its authenticity could not be independently confirmed.
     
    Attacks increasing
     
    The crash was the sixth by a US helicopter since January 20, at least four of them downed by ground fire.
     
    An Iraqi air force officer on Wednesday also said the CH-46 had been shot down. Five marines and two navy medics were killed in the crash.
     
    Though he said the CH-46 was not believed to have been shot down, Conway said on Wednesday that there was a new and troubling "intensity of effort" by fighters to attack helicopters.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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