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Iraqi Army Helicopter Crash Kills Several Members on Board

Iraqi Army Helicopter Crash Kills Several Members on Board

Sunday, 12 November, 2017 - 12:15
A picture taken on September 25, 2017 during the Kurdish independence referendum shows a Russian-made Iraqi military helicopter flying over Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq

An Iraqi army helicopter crashed during a routine flight on Sunday, killing all seven people on board, a military statement and Iraqi air force officers said.

The Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter went down near the southern province of Kut, the statement said. Two pilots and five army officers were killed, Iraqi air force officers told Reuters.

A technical malfunction caused the crash, the military statement said.

Iraq is slowly rebuilding its air force, once one of the world’s largest, after the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

In January, a Russian-made Mi-35 attack helicopter went down south of the northern city of Mosul, killing all four crew members -- two pilots and two technicians -- also due to a technical failure, according to AFP.

This accident took place by the time s Iraqi forces were battling ISIS and an Iraqi officer at the time said the power of the war on ISIS meant that needed maintenance on such helicopters was not always enough.

In February 2016, the crash of another Mi-17 -- also Russian made and used for transport mainly -- killed nine, with the accident also blamed on a technical issues.

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