British troops killed in Iraq helicopter crash

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The Independent Online

Two British military personnel were killed when their RAF Puma helicopter crashed in Iraq, the Ministry of Defence said today.







Two other people were seriously injured when the aircraft came down near Baghdad last night.



The MoD said it was too early to speculate on what caused the crash, but an RAF Board of Inquiry has been set up to investigate the incident.



The next of kin of those involved have been informed.





















The injured personnel are now recovering in hospital.

An MoD spokesman said: "It is too early to speculate on the cause of the crash.



"An RAF Board of Inquiry has already been convened and is en route to Iraq to conduct its investigations.



"Our thoughts are with the families at this very difficult time."



The MoD would not confirm which service those killed and injured belonged to, or whether they were involved in special forces operations.



The US military issued a statement saying a coalition helicopter had crashed yesterday near Salman Pak, on the outskirts of the Iraqi capital, killing two people and injuring 12.



Initial reports indicated that the crash was not caused by hostile fire, the Americans said.



An MoD spokesman could not confirm this was the same incident, but said the details appeared to match.



The latest deaths bring to 173 the number of British military fatalities since hostilities began in Iraq in March 2003.

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