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Pilots missing in Iraq after U.S. chopper crash

An Iraqi walks past razor wire protecting U.S. headquarters in central Baghdad on Sunday.
An Iraqi walks past razor wire protecting U.S. headquarters in central Baghdad on Sunday.

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CNN's Sheila MacVicar reports two U.S. pilots are missing after their Army helicopter crashed into the Tigris River near downtown Mosul in northern Iraq.
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CNN's Michael Holmes reports on deadly attacks in Iraq on Saturday.
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The first class of Iraqi police graduate from the country's counter-terrorism school.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Two pilots of a crashed U.S. Army helicopter were missing Sunday, after they crashed into the Tigris River near downtown Mosul in northern Iraq, a U.S. military source said.

The OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter was on a search-and-rescue mission for a another U.S. soldier who was reported missing after his patrol boat capsized.

Two Iraqi police officers and an Iraqi translator were killed and three U.S. soldiers were rescued in the boat incident.

Military officials said an investigation was under way into the cause of the helicopter crash.

The helicopter was attached to the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, officials said.

Rocket-propelled grenade attack kills soldier

In the central Iraqi town of Beiji, just north of Tikrit, Sunday a U.S. soldier died of wounds suffered the previous night when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle, a U.S. military source said.

The soldier, whose name has not been released, was assigned to the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division, the military source said.

The soldier was riding in Bradley fighting vehicle when a RPG slammed into it. Other soldiers in the patrol convoy returned fire against the attackers and captured six suspected insurgents, the military source said.

The critically wounded soldier was taken to the 28th Combat Support Hospital where he died hours later after surgery, the source said.

Beiji is in Iraq's so-called Sunni Triangle, the volatile region north and west of Baghdad, where many of the deaths have occurred.

Five U.S. soldiers and four Iraqi civilians were killed Saturday in three separate bomb attacks in the Sunni Triangle, U.S. military officials said. (Full story)

Insurgents have been active all week in the Sunni Triangle -- where three attacks in a 24-hour period Wednesday and Thursday killed nine people, including two U.S. soldiers.

The latest death brings the total of U.S. soldiers killed in the war to 512.

Other developments

• Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Sunday he expects U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to announce as early as Monday that the United Nations will evaluate proposed direct elections in Iraq to choose a post-Saddam Hussein government. The U.S. plan to transfer power to Iraqis in June through an indirect, caucus-style vote has run into strong opposition from Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority.

• Intelligence reports suggesting Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction were correct, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in an interview published Sunday. Blair said he believed in the intelligence material presented to him ahead of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, despite the subsequent failure of coalition forces to find WMD there. (Full story)


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