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U.S. helicopter crashes near Baghdad

Gunmen kill Shiite tribal chief, relatives

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Iraqis from the same family were killed during an ambush Friday night.

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A U.S. military helicopter crashed Saturday southwest of Baghdad, the military said in a statement.

"The status of the crew is unknown," the brief statement said.

Officials said the helicopter was on a "combat air patrol" and came down at about 5:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. ET).

The statement added: "All additional information is being withheld pending investigation and notification of next of kin," the statement said.

Elsewhere in Iraq, gunmen in three cars killed a Shiite tribal chief and four male relatives near Balad Ruz as they drove home from a funeral, according to a Diyala province Joint Coordination Center official.

One of the family members was a police officer with the Baquba intelligence service.

At least 10 attackers ambushed tribal chief Adil Abdul Hadi's group Friday night. Two female relatives were also wounded, the Diyala province Joint Coordination Center said. None of the gunmen was hurt, the center added, and no information on a possible motive was available.

Diyala province has a mixed Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish population. Balad Ruz is about 45 miles northeast of Baghdad and 37 miles east of the provincial capital, Baquba.

On Saturday morning, four Iraqi police officers were wounded as they tried to defuse a bomb behind Baghdad's Technical University. In a separate incident, a mortar round exploded in a residential area in a southeastern Baghdad suburb, wounding two civilians, officials said.

Coalition forces also found the bodies of six Iraqis in a car on a major road in western Baghdad, according to the U.S. military. They were found blindfolded, with their hands bound, the statement said.

Other developments

  • U.S. journalist Jill Carroll arrived at Ramstein Air Base in western Germany Saturday, two days after her captors released her in Baghdad. A video posted on an Islamist Web site shows her condemning the United States and praising Iraqi insurgents. Her father told The Christian Science Monitor -- the paper she was working for when kidnapped -- that the captors demanded she make the video. (Details)
  • U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Saturday she was speaking "figuratively, not literally" a day earlier, when saying the United States made possibly "thousands" of "tactical errors" in the war against Iraq. Her tour of northwest England has met protests. (Full story)
  • Retired NATO military commander -- and former Democratic presidential candidate -- Gen. Wesley Clark slammed the Bush administration Saturday, accusing it of "tragic incompetence in everything from nation building in Iraq to disaster relief in Louisiana." (Details)
  • The U.S. Army has banned the use of any body armor not issued by the military, saying the quality of commercially bought armor could not be guaranteed. (Full story)
  • CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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