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US Military Helicopter Crashes in Northern Iraq

The U.S. military says one of its helicopters has crashed in northern Iraq, killing an American soldier and injuring three others.

The military says the cause of the crash late Saturday is under investigation, but is not believed to be linked to enemy fire. An Iraqi military official says the helicopter went down near the city of Tikrit.

In another development, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, plans to begin regular passenger flights to Baghdad on April 26.

The airline said Sunday it will launch five return flights a week from Abu Dhabi to Baghdad using Airbus A320 planes, subject to government and regulatory approval.

The plan would make Etihad the first Emirati airline to provide regular passenger flights to Iraq. Etihad says it hopes to add an additional route between Abu Dhabi and the city of Irbil in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region starting June 1.

Etihad chief executive James Hogan says the airline expects strong demand on the routes from government and business travelers.

International airlines have been returning slowly to Iraq as its security improves and economic activity picks up following years of conflict.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.