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Helicopter crashes in sandstorm in Iraq

July 28, 2010 at 8:33 AM

BAGHDAD, July 28 (UPI) -- Bad weather was blamed for the crash of an Iraqi military helicopter Wednesday in Karbala, that killed all five crew members aboard, officials said.

Local officials said the helicopter was flying a security mission following a missile attack on the city in which six Iraqis were killed and 33 were injured, the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported.

The crash occurred during a sandstorm in the al-Ibrahimiyah area in east Karbala, south of Baghdad, officials told China's state-run Xinhua news agency. The helicopter was part of a security detail charged with protecting Shiite pilgrims traveling to Karbala to commemorate the birth of Imam Mahdi, the last of the 12 most revered Shiite imams.

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