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Thursday, September 18, 2008

IRAQ

Helicoper Crash Kills 7 U.S. Troops in South

Seven U.S. soldiers were killed when a Chinook helicopter made a "hard landing" early Thursday in southern Iraq, the military said.

A U.S. statement said the CH-47 Chinook was setting down shortly after midnight about 60 miles west of Basra when the incident occurred. The aircraft was a part of a convoy flying from Kuwait to the U.S. military base at Balad, just north of Baghdad.

There was no word on the cause of the crash or whether hostile fire was involved.

A spokesman for Multi-National Force-Iraq said that in addition to the seven deaths, two soldiers were missing.

Separately, a U.S. soldier also died of non-combat causes, the military said.

Meanwhile, at least 11 people were killed in bombings Wednesday. The deadliest of the attacks was a double car bombing in western Baghdad, which killed at least eight people and wounded 20, while a roadside bomb in downtown Baghdad killed three people.

AFGHANISTAN

Gates Offers 'Regrets' For Civilian Deaths

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates expressed "personal regrets" Wednesday for the deaths of Afghan civilians in airstrikes and ordered U.S. forces to immediately pay families of people mistakenly killed in any future attack.

In a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, the capital, Gates vowed that the United States would take steps to avoid such mistakes.

YEMEN

33 Migrants Drown

Authorities pulled the bodies of 33 African migrants out of the water off Yemen on Wednesday, the state-run Saba news agency said. Smugglers from Somalia, across the Gulf of Aden, often bring migrants near Yemen, then throw them overboard, leaving many to drown.


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