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Downed Apache Crew Found, Confirmed Lost

Military officials in Iraq have confirmed the death of two helicopter pilots from Multinational Division Baghdad whose AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter crashed southwest of Baghdad Saturday, and provided details on recent operations.

The Apache crew's remains were recovered following aircraft recovery operations at the crash site, officials said.

The crew was conducting a combat air patrol when the helicopter went down "due to possible hostile fire" west of Yousifiyah, officials reported. The names of the soldiers are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

This is the third helicopter downing in Iraq for 2006, and the second involving an Apache. On January 16, two US pilots were lost when their Apache went down north of Baghdad.

On January 8, an Army UH-60 Black Hawk went down near the Syrian border. Eight passengers and four crewmembers were killed in that crash; the military is investigating the causes of both downings.

FMI: www.mnf-iraq.com

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