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Iraq: U.S. Central Command Says Apache Was Downed By Hostile Fire


Baghdad, 13 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. Central Command has said that the Apache combat helicopter, lost over western Iraq yesterday, was apparently downed by hostile fire. It also said an F-16 warplane crashed southwest of Baghdad, although the cause of the crash was not known.

Central Command said the two-member crew of the helicopter and the F-16's pilot were not injured and had been rescued by coalition forces.

Elsewhere in Iraq, U.S. planes carried out air strikes as part of what they say is a continuing campaign to eradicate Ba'ath Party loyalists.

U.S. officials said the warplanes hit a "terrorist" training camp 150 kilometers northwest of Baghdad, and this was followed by fighting on the ground in which one member of the US-led forces is reported to have been wounded.

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