Russian officials say a military helicopter in the southern republic of Chechnya has crashed, killing at least 17 people.
Russian news reports quote military officials as saying the Mi-8 helicopter appears to have been shot down by Chechen separatists Friday.
They say the aircraft went down in the southern part of the war-torn North Caucasus republic during an operation against separatist militants.
Russian forces have been battling radical Muslim separatists in Chechnya for most of the last 12 years.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.