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Iraq Transition

Iraq chopper crash death toll raised to 4

Story Highlights

• Bodies of three Marines found; missing after emergency landing by chopper
• Death toll now four in ditching of Marine helicopter in water in Anbar province
• Gunmen kidnap two doctors from hospital outside Baghdad
• Bush meets with Shiite leader Abdul Aziz Hakim on Monday in Washington
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military Monday said it has located the bodies of three service members missing after their Marine helicopter made an emergency landing on water Sunday in Iraq's volatile Anbar province.

That brings the death toll in the incident to four.

Rescuers were unable to resuscitate a Marine who was pulled from the water shortly after the landing, according to a U.S. military statement issued Monday.

The CH-46 Sea Knight was carrying 16 passengers when it went down in western Anbar. The 12 passengers known to have survived the crash have been accounted for, the military said.

It was not clear if the Marine chopper went down in a lake or a river.

The military said it does not believe the emergency landing was the result of enemy action, although an investigation is under way.

The deaths brought to 2,897 the number of U.S. troops who have died in the Iraq war. Seven civilian contractors of the Defense Department also have died. (Watch why leaked Rumsfeld memo adds to pressure for policy changes Video)

Doctors kidnapped from hospital

Near Baghdad Monday, gunmen raided a hospital and abducted two doctors, an Iraqi interior ministry official said.

The kidnapping happened around 5:30 p.m. in Salman Pak, a Sunni-Shiite town about 20 miles (30 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, the official said.

In the Iraqi capital, gunmen shot and killed an Iraqi journalist as he left for work, according to the founder of Radio Dijla, where he worked.

Nabil Ibrahim al-Dulaimi, 36, had worked for the station as a news editor for about six months, Ahmed al-Rikabi told CNN.

He is the radio station's fourth employee killed in insurgent attacks in the past two years, al-Rikabi said.

On Sunday night, three mortar rounds landed near the radio station, al-Rikabi said. Journalists are frequent targets of insurgent attacks in Iraq.

North of the Iraqi capital, gunmen shot and killed four Agriculture Ministry employees as they were driving in Baquba around 8:45 a.m. Monday, a Diyala joint coordination center official said.

Gunmen also opened fire at a car in the town of Khalis, north of Baquba, killing two people, the official said.

106 bodies found in Baghdad in past two days

Iraqi police Monday said they have recovered 106 bodies in the past two days, all shot to death and scattered across Baghdad. Some were blindfolded with bound hands, and showed signs of torture. They are believed to be victims of the Sunni-Shiite sectarian warfare that has shaken the capital over the past year.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said its forces put a dent in the al Qaeda in Iraq network after it raided several buildings in northern Baghdad Monday morning.

U.S. forces killed two "terrorists," detained six others and destroyed a car bomb during the raid, a military statement said. The raid also netted munitions and a small number of weapons.

According to the U.S. military, intelligence information led them to the site.

"Coalition Forces are making progress dismantling the al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist network and ridding local neighborhoods of terrorist activities," the statement said.

Bush meets Monday with Shiite leader

President Bush met with one of Iraq's top Shiite leaders, Abdul Aziz Hakim, in Washington on Monday. (Full story)

Hakim is the powerful leader of Iraq's largest Shiite party, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

He is friendly to the United States, but also has strong ties with Tehran, and wants to see Iran involved in solving Iraq's problems.

Hakim spent decades in exile in Iran, only returning when Saddam Hussein was overthrown. His party has an Iranian-trained militia, the 25,000-strong Badr Brigade. (Watch why Hakim is important to finding solution in Iraq Video)

Other developments

  • U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in an interview broadcast Monday, called the situation in Iraq "much worse" than civil war. According to The Associated Press, he said the situation is "extremely dangerous" and that the international community must help the country to rebuild. (Full story)
  • President Bush will get a report and recommendations from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group on Wednesday, and national security adviser Stephen Hadley said Sunday, "The president understands that we need to have a way forward in Iraq that is more successful." (Full story)
  • CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

    Copyright 2006 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.


    story.hakim.state.afp.gi.jpg

    Iraqi Shiite leader Abdul Aziz Hakim arrives at the State Department on Monday to meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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