Wednesday, January 26, 2005



Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- As many as 30 people were killed when their Marine transport helicopter crashed in Western Iraq, CBS News reported, citing unidentified military officials.

The helicopter crashed at about 1:20 a.m. local time near Ar Rutbah, west of the Iraqi capital, the U.S. military said earlier in an e-mailed statement, without providing information on casualties. Military spokesmen contacted by telephone and e-mail in Baghdad and Fallujah declined to provide details.

The crash killed everybody on board, and the military is trying to establish whether the helicopter was shot down or crashed for another reason, CBS said.

As of 10 a.m. New York time yesterday, a total of 1,371 U.S. military personnel have been killed in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion, according to Pentagon figures. One U.S. soldier was killed today and two others wounded when insurgents attacked their patrol north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.