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Iraq group says downed 4 "crusader" helicopters-Web

Written by: Staff
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DUBAI, May 15 (Reuters) An Iraqi militant group affiliated to al Qaeda today said it had downed four ''crusader'' helicopters south of the capital Baghdad, according to an Internet statement.

''On Sunday your brothers ... downed four helicopters for Crusaders in the area of Yusifiya, south of Baghdad,'' said the statement from the Mujahideen Council, which was posted on Monday.

It could not be immediately authenticated.

Two U S soldiers died when insurgents shot down their helicopter during clashes near the village of Yusifiya, 15 km south of Baghdad, the U.S. military today said.

Insurgents have used Yusifiya as a staging area for suicide attacks in Baghdad, according to U S officials. Early last month, a U S combat helicopter was presumed to have been shot down in the same area, killing its two pilots.

REUTERS SY VC2138

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