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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 21:12 GMT
US helicopter shot down in Iraq
Black Hawk helicopter
US Black Hawks have been patrolling the skies above Baghdad
A US helicopter which crash-landed north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad was shot down, the US military has said.

All nine people aboard the Black Hawk were evacuated by a second helicopter and none suffered serious injuries.

Initial reports suggested the aircraft was hit by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire, the military said.

Recent attacks on helicopters have raised fears that insurgents may be studying flight patterns or may have acquired more advanced weapons.

Insurgents have shot down seven helicopters in Iraq since 20 January, with many of the 28 killed in those incidents being US soldiers.

Mahmoud al Mashhadani told Reuters news agency: "I saw a ball of fire hitting the aircraft and smoke coming out of the helicopter as it came down."

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