Gunmen shoot down helicopter in Iraq, kill 5

Gunmen shoot down helicopter in Iraq, kill 5
Wed Oct 2, 2013 13:52:42

Gunmen have downed a military helicopter in Iraq, killing its five-member crew, officials say.

Two intelligence officers and a military official say the helicopter was shot down while it was providing aerial support to troops on the ground during a gun-battle Wednesday with militants outside the city of Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The fighting was part of the military's counter-insurgency operation recently launched in Sunni-dominated areas in central and northern Iraq. But the operation, dubbed "Revenge for the Martyrs," has not made significant headway in stopping the violence that has gripped Iraq since April.

More than 5,000 people have been killed since then.

Iraq is witnessing its worst violence since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal sectarian conflict that killed tens of thousands of people.

There are persistent fears that the country is slipping back towards an all-out conflict.

Militants, including those linked to al-Qaeda, frequently carry out attacks against Iraqi security forces and other government employees.


string(1194) "[{"id":"1517833","sort":"3100488","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/18/alalam_635151035267136781_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Car bomb kills child, wounds dozens in northeast Iraq"} ,{"id":"1518557","sort":"3100489","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/20/alalam_635152879074047478_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"At least 16 killed in Iraq mosque blasts"} ,{"id":"1520222","sort":"3100490","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/25/alalam_635157425965272251_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Militants hit north Iraq town as 24 killed nationwide"} ,{"id":"1520990","sort":"3100491","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/28/alalam_635159819407400687_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"11 killed, 25 wounded in Iraq violence: officials"} ,{"id":"1521108","sort":"3100492","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/29/alalam_635160518878807604_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"New Iraq terror attacks kill 14"} ,{"id":"1521204","sort":"3100493","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/09/29/alalam_635160832099867908_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Suicide bomber kills 27 at Iraq Shiite mosque"} ,{"id":"1521785","sort":"3100494","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/10/02/alalam_635163054778380351_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iraq arrests 40 al-Qaeda terrorists in al-Anbar"} ]"