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Helicopter Crash Kills 5 Near Bagram; More News From Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2003 – Five U.S. soldiers were killed and seven others were injured Nov. 23 when their helicopter crashed near Bagram, Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command officials said.

A CENTCOM statement did not specify the type of helicopter or its unit, except to say it was a U.S. military helicopter and that the soldiers were taking part in an operation called Mountain Resolve in the eastern part of the country. Officials said the cause of the crash is being investigated.

News from Iraq includes more casualties, but also relates more successes in the crackdown on insurgents, as well as an instance of Iraqi citizens stepping forward to prevent more bloodshed.

Two soldiers on a mounted patrol near Shkin were wounded Nov. 23 when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device, CENTCOM reported. The soldiers received initial medical treatment on the scene and were evacuated by air to the medical facility at Salerno firebase. No report was available on their condition.

Two 1st Armored Division soldiers were killed and another was injured when an M-1 Abrams tank struck a humvee near Baghdad International Airport in a Nov. 22 traffic accident, CENTCOM reported.

Paratroopers from the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division captured two enemy personnel and five caches of various weapons near Fallujah Nov. 23, officials at Combined Joint Task Force 7 in Iraq reported today.

The soldiers confiscated 54 60 mm mortars, a complete 60 mm mortar system, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, RPG rounds, rifle grenades, hand grenades, a Russian anti-tank missile, bolt-action rifles, AK-47 assault rifles, SKS assault rifles, flares, pistols, bayonets, and materials used for making improvised explosive devices.

Soldiers from the 82nd killed three insurgents and wounded another during raids near Ramadi the night of Nov. 22, officials at CJTF 7 also reported today. One soldier was wounded and was taken to a nearby medical facility, where he was reported in stable condition. The wounded enemy combatant received medical attention and is being held in a detention facility. Inside the targeted buildings, soldiers found 10 rocket-propelled grenades and two assault rifles, officials said.

The names of the dead and injured soldiers are being withheld until their families are notified.

Central Command also reported Nov. 23 that Iraqi civilians near Iskandariyah flagged down an Iraqi railroad train to warn the crew of an improvised explosive device on the tracks. The IED was made from three 155 mm artillery rounds linked together. An explosive ordnance disposal team attached to the 82nd Airborne Division disarmed the device.

"Assistance between the people of the Al Anbar province and the 82nd Airborne Division is increasing each day. The Iraqis' cooperation with coalition forces is helping the continued effort to turn Iraq into a democratic country," read the CENTCOM news release reporting the incident.

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