Eight killed as Black Hawk helicopter is downed in Iraq

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The Independent Online

An American Black Hawk helicopter was brought down in Iraq today killing all eight people on board, a US military spokeswoman said.

An American Black Hawk helicopter was brought down in Iraq today killing all eight people on board, a US military spokeswoman said. At least four of the victims were soldiers.

The helicopter went down near Fallujah, west of Baghdad, which is a hotbed of the insurgency against the US occupation.

Anti-American insurgents have made several attacks on aircraft in Iraq. On January 3 rebels shot down a US helicopter in the same area, killing one soldier.

In the deadliest single attack on US forces since the Iraq invasion began in March, 17 soldiers were killed on November 15 when two Black Hawk helicopters collided above Mosul in what the military called a likely grenade attack.

Meanwhile two truckloads of prisoners were released from Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, today. Each contained about 40 prisoners who were released, according to the Americans, as a 'goodwill' gesture.

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