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British C-130 Transport Crashes

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2005 – A British military C-130 transport plane crashed about 25 miles northwest of Baghdad today.

Wreckage was reported scattered over a large area, according to news reports. No word was available on survivors or cause of the crash, and the incident remains under investigation.

During a press conference today, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said a number of soldiers perished in the crash. "This is the true face of the British Army: brave, committed, professional the world over, doing an extraordinary job on behalf of their country," he said.

"Yet, again today we see the sacrifice that they make," Blair said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives earlier today. They can be so proud of what their loved ones accomplished. This country and the wider world will never forget them."

President Bush also offered condolences from the White House today. "We also mourn the American and British military personnel who lost their lives today," he said, referring not only to the crash victims, but also to U.S. troops who died in Iraq during nationwide elections.

"Their sacrifices were made in a vital cause of freedom, peace in troubled region, and a more secure future for us all," Bush noted.

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