Iraq helicopter crash kills three

NNA – An Iraqi army helicopter crashed Sunday south of Baghdad during a training exercise killing all three crew members due to a technical problem, military officials said.

“A Mi-17 military helicopter crashed during a training exercise and its crew was killed,” the army said in a statement.

Three air force officers were killed in the crash in the province of Wasit, southeast of Baghdad, an air force official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Another air force officer said the helicopter came down at 0530 GMT “due to a technical problem”.

In January, a Russian-made Mi-35 attack helicopter went down south of the northern city of Mosul, killing all four crew members — two pilots and two technicians — also due to a technical failure.

The accident came as Iraqi forces were battling the Islamic State group and an Iraqi officer at the time said the intensity of the war on IS meant that necessary maintenance work on such helicopters was not always satisfactory.

In February 2016, the crash of another Mi-17 — also Russian made and used for transport mainly — killed nine, with the accident also blamed on a technical problem. — AFP

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