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Islamic State Militants Shoot Down Iraqi Helicopter

Samarra, Iraq

Iraqi officials say Islamic State militants have shot down an Iraqi military helicopter, killing the two pilots onboard.

Media reported on Saturday the attack happened in the Shi'ite holy city of Samarra, about 95 kilometers north of Baghdad.

A senior Iraqi Defense Ministry official told The Asssociated Press the militants used a shoulder-fired rocket launcher to shoot down the helicopter on the outskirts of the city.

IS fighters shot down at least two other Iraqi military helicopters in October near the central Iraqi city of Baiji.

Central Samarra has been secured by the Iraqi army and several Shi'ite militias who are in the thick of the battle against Islamic State, which controls much of northern and western Iraq and parts of Syria.