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IS shoots down Iraqi army helicopter killing at least one

IS shot down helicopter with a Dushka heavy machine gun, and claims to have damaged another this week
An Iraqi Bell helicopter flies over Ramadi last month (AFP)

The Islamic State militant group shot down an Iraqi military helicopter west of Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least one person, officials said.

The helicopter - the second lost by Iraq in two days - went down near Amriyat al-Fallujah, though officials differed on the exact location.

An Iraqi army aviation captain said that the Bell helicopter was shot down with a Dushka heavy machine gun, killing one crew member and wounding a second, who was rescued by another helicopter.

Lieutenant Colonel Arif al-Janabi, the police chief for Amriyat al-Fallujah, said that IS shot the helicopter down, and put the death toll at two.

Shakir al-Essawi, the head of the area's local council, confirmed Janabi's account.

IS issued an online statement claiming that it shot a helicopter down and damaged another in the Amriyat al-Fallujah area on Tuesday.

Iraq has lost multiple helicopters to accidents and ground fire in recent years, while others have been damaged.

An Iraqi Mi-17 helicopter crashed south of Baghdad due to a "technical problem" on Tuesday, killing nine people.

In October 2014, militants shot down a Bell 407 north of Baghdad, killing two crew, five days after an Mi-35 was shot down in the same area, while militants destroyed another helicopter on the ground earlier in the year.

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