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The Islamic Army in Iraq Claims Downing U.S. Copter in Mosul

The Iraqi insurgent group The Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI) claimed responsibility for downing a U.S. helicopter in Mosul, in an Internet statement released today.

According to the statement, members of the group laid an ambush for the U.S. helicopter in western Mosul and shot it down using a Strella missile, which has the ability to shoot down an craft from a distance of two miles. "The plane received a direct hit; it was completely destroyed, and the crewmen onboard have all been killed," the statement said.

The IAI claim was however contested by several al Qaeda supporters on militant Islamist websites, who claimed that al Qaeda was behind the attack and posted a copy of a statement that was allegedly distributed in Mosul shortly after the attack.

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