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US Helicopter Down In Iraq - 9 Killed - 2004-01-08

Nine American soldiers have been killed in a helicopter crash near the Iraqi town of Fallujah.

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt told reporters in Baghdad the Blackhawk helicopter was on a routine mission when it went down, killing all nine persons on board.

"We do not have positive identification on all those persons, but we are working under the presumption they are all American soldiers," he said.

U.S. officials say the helicopter was on a medical evacuation mission when it made an emergency landing. There was no immediate word on what caused the helicopter to go down. General Kimmitt said troops secured the crash site and an investigation is under way. Fallujah has been a hotbed of anti-coalition activity and a military helicopter was shot down there last Friday.