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U.S. Chopper Reported Shot Down in Iraq

January 16, 2006|Alissa Rubin | Times Staff Writer

BAGHDAD — Insurgents shot down a U.S. helicopter in a farming area north of Baghdad this morning, according to witnesses and the Iraqi Ministry of Interior.

U.S. military officials in Baghdad said they were checking the helicopter report.

In Baghdad, insurgents detonated at least two explosive devices that were heard across a wide area. The casualties were not immediately known.

The helicopter incident occurred near the village of Mashahidah, in a farming and orchard area where there have been frequent attacks on the U.S. military. Witnesses said they heard a large explosion about 8:20 a.m. and rushed toward a large column of smoke.

Within minutes, however, the area was cordoned off, U.S. helicopters began circling overhead and troops started detaining people in the surrounding area, said nearby residents.

Interior Ministry sources said one of the two bombings in Baghdad targeted a GMC sport utility vehicle as it crossed the Jumhuriya bridge. The second targeted a police patrol, injuring an officer and a bystander.

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