[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 16:06 GMT
Russian chopper down in Chechnya
Mi-8 helicopter
Russian helicopters often crash because of technical problems
A Russian Mi-8 military helicopter has crashed in the war-ravaged Chechnya region, with some reports saying six people on board were killed.

The crash happened 20km (13 miles) from the main Russian military base at Khankala, near Grozny.

It is not clear whether the crash was caused by technical difficulties or rebel activity.

Chechen separatists have been battling Russian forces in the region for more than five years.

Nine passengers and three crew were said to be on board the aircraft.

But sources differed on casualty figures, with some officials saying no one had died.

Helicopter crashes are common in Chechnya, with a number lost to rebel ground fire, but others coming down because of pilot error or technical malfunctions.

The last incident happened on 11 March, when a helicopter hit power lines, killing 11 soldiers.

Bullet holes were later reportedly found in the tail.

The crash came just three days after the death of Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See where the rebel leader had been hiding



RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific