Insurgents have shot down a U.S. helicopter in Iraq, killing the two soldiers on board.

The U.S. military says the helicopter crashed late Thursday near Baqubah, north of Baghdad. A second helicopter was damaged in the attack, but landed safely at a coalition base.

Recently, the U.S. military said some insurgents have been using increasingly sophisticated tactics. This has led to intensified anti-insurgent operations in western Iraq and, beginning next week, in Baghdad.

A U.S.-led offensive is in its third day in the Euphrates River city of Haditha, on the road to the Syrian border. Next week, some 40,000 Iraqi forces will cordon off Baghdad, setting up hundreds of checkpoints and conducting raids in a bid to crackdown on insurgents who have killed more than 600 people in the last month.


Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.