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Soldiers in Poland's 12th Mechanized Division march after a ceremony at Camp Echo that marked the end of their country's mission as part of the U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq.
Soldiers in Poland's 12th Mechanized Division march after a ceremony at Camp Echo that marked the end of their country's mission as part of the U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq. (By Ceerwan Aziz -- Associated Press)

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

IRAQ

Baghdad Helicopter Crashes Kill 1 Soldier, Injure 2

Two U.S. military helicopters crashed in Baghdad on Saturday night while trying to land, the military said. An Iraqi soldier was killed and two U.S. soldiers were injured when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed near a small outpost in Adhamiyah, a neighborhood in northern Baghdad, the military said.

The incident did not appear to have been caused by enemy action, the military said.

"The situation is under control," Navy Lt. Patrick Evans, a U.S. military spokesman, said in an e-mail. "Emergency services are on the scene."

Evans said he did not know how many people were on board. He said an investigation into the cause of the crashes was underway.

Seven U.S. soldiers were killed Sept. 18 when a CH-47 Chinook, a transport helicopter, crashed in southern Iraq. Officials have cited mechanical failure in that incident.

Dozens of U.S. military helicopters have crashed in Iraq since 2003, including many that were shot down by insurgents in 2006 and 2007. Such attacks have become rare in recent months as violence has dropped and the military has taken additional precautions.

-- Ernesto LondoƱo

Polish Forces Set to Depart

Poland turned over control of an area south of Baghdad to American troops on Saturday, making it the latest country to leave the dwindling U.S.-led coalition.

But even as Polish troops head home from Iraq this month, their government is boosting troop levels in Afghanistan and preparing for a U.S. missile defense base in Poland.


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