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31 US Marines Killed in Iraq Helicopter Crash

The U.S. military says a Marine helicopter has crashed in a remote area of western Iraq, killing 31 troops.

The military says the Marine transport helicopter went down at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday local time, while on patrol near the city of Ar Rutbah, close to the border with Syria and Jordan.

At the White House, President Bush said he is saddened by the loss of life.

Troops from two Marine divisions were aboard the helicopter when it went down. It was not immediately known if the crash was an accident or the result of hostile fire, but bad weather was reported in the area. A military search and rescue team is at the site and an investigation is under way.

Also in western Iraq, the military says four Marines were killed in action today in al-Anbar province. And to the north, one soldier was killed and two others wounded in a rocket-propelled grenade attack near Ad Duluiyah.