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Helicopter Crash in Anbar Province Claims Two Marines

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2004 – Two Marines were killed and three others were injured the night of Aug. 11 when a CH-53 helicopter flying in support of security and stabilization operations in Iraq's Anbar province crashed, a Multinational Force Iraq news release reported today.

The release said no enemy fire was observed near the aircraft.

An investigation is under way, and Multinational Force Iraq personnel have secured the crash site and started recovery operations, the release said.

In Tikrit, five Iraqi civilians were killed and 11 were injured when an homemade bomb detonated in Khan Banai Saad marketplace just after noon Aug. 11, according to another military news release. An Iraqi was killed and another was wounded in an explosion at an ammunition supply point near Tikrit around 10:30 p.m. Aug. 11, the release added.

Another release reported that fighting broke out in Kut when Iraqi police and National Guard units responded to attacks by armed insurgents on the city hall, Iraqi police stations and Iraqi National Guard barracks. Members of both sides were killed and wounded in the resulting firefights, officials said.

Kut's governor, hoping to return security and stability in the town, has contacted the insurgents, the release said. The Multinational Division Center- South's 2nd Brigade Combat Team at Camp Delta has increased its combat readiness level in preparation to support the Iraqi security forces should the insurgents not respond to the governor, the release said. The brigade is located across the Tigris River from Kut.

Iraqi police, with help from Task Force Danger soldiers, captured a suspected bomb maker Aug. 11 near Tuz. Raheem Hakeem Agile was arrested during a cordon- and-search operation. Police confiscated two AK-47 assault rifles, electrical switches and various lengths and gauges of electrical wire. Agile was taken to the Tuz police station, the release said.

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