Special report:Tension escalates in
BAGHDAD, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. helicopter crashed in
an area north of Baquba City, 65 km northeast of Baghdad, on Thursday, the
Qatar-based al-Jazeera satellite TV channel reported.
A US helicopter lands on a clearing near Fallujah railway station, Nov. 9. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)Photo Gallery>>>
The helicopter went down in a clash between gunmen
and U.S. troops, the report quoted witnesses as saying, without specifying
location of the crash.
If confirmed, it would be the ninth U.S. helicopter
crashed or shot down by insurgents' fire since Jan. 20, which has killed 28
soldiers and civilians so far.
The incident came one day after the U.S. military
announced a Black Hawk helicopter was shot down by insurgent fire in the Nibaie
area near the U.S. airbase of Taji, some 20 km north of Baghdad.
U.S. military spokesman Major General William
Caldwell said that the initial indications appear that the helicopter was
brought down by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.
An Iraqi Islamic militant group called Jaish
al-Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the crash in a website statement whose
authenticity could not be verified.