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Iraq Transition

U.S. searches for pilots of two missing jets

Bombs kill 13, wound 50 in Baghdad, Mosul
The F/A-18 Hornet, like the one shown here, can carry either one- or two-person crews.
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Insurgent attacks kill more than 30 in Iraq.
• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
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(CNN) -- A search is under way for the pilots of two Marine Corps F/A-18 jets that were lost Monday while flying in support of the war in Iraq, Navy officials said.

Navy officials said they believe the jets collided with each other in bad weather during a routine mission.

The crew of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson lost contact with the planes about 10:10 p.m. (2:10 p.m. ET), a U.S. military statement said.

"There was no indication of hostile fire in the area at the time contact was lost," the military statement said.

The statement did not say if the planes were over land or sea when they lost contact.

The Boeing-built F/A-18 Hornet is an all-weather fighter and attack aircraft, versions of which can carry either one- or two-person crews.

The aircraft, with a price tag of $35 million and up, have been in service since the 1980s.

The Carl Vinson replaced the USS Harry S. Truman in the Persian Gulf on March 20 to support forces in Iraq.

The Navy says its eight operational nuclear-powered Nimitz-class carriers are the largest warships in the world, carrying about 85 aircraft each.

Late last year, Marine Corps officials said a sharp increase in deadly accidents involving Marine aircraft had forced a close look at possible causes. (Full story)

From October 2003 through September 2004, the Marines sustained 18 major accidents, including the deaths of 15 aviators and the loss of 21 helicopters and fighter planes.

The accidents included the collision of two Hornet fighters over the Atlantic Ocean and another collision of two Hornets over Oregon that killed the two pilots.

In September, a Marine pilot was rescued after ejecting from his F/A-18 jet just before it crashed during a training exercise in the Australian Outback. (Full story)

Eight bombings in one day

Eight bombings in Iraq killed at least 13 Iraqis and wounded 50 others Monday. (Full story)

More than 100 Iraqis, most of them security forces and civilians, have died in attacks since Thursday's selection of a new Cabinet by the transitional National Assembly. (Full story)

Hours after six car bombs rocked separate locations in Baghdad and Mosul, two more exploded late Monday, including one targeting a U.S. military convoy near the Abu Ghraib prison, Iraqi police said.

The bombings came a day after a suicide attack during the funeral of a Kurdish official killed about 25 people.

Other developments

  • Disputing the conclusions of a U.S. report into the fatal shooting of an Italian intelligence agent, an Italian investigation released late Monday found that stress and inexperience among U.S. soldiers played a role in the shooting. A classified version of the U.S. report painted a grim picture of insurgency in Baghdad in the months leading up to the March incident, including some details not made public elsewhere. (Full story)
  • U.S. Army Pfc. Lynndie England -- the reservist whose image symbolized the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq -- pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to the abuse at the Baghdad facility. (Full story)
  • CNN's Kevin Flower, Geoff Hiscock and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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