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Helicopter crash kills 2 in Iraq

  • Story Highlights
  • Two people died after helicopter crashed in Iraq
  • Helicopter was used by military contractor Xe formerly known as Blackwater
  • Officials are trying to determine what caused crash
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(CNN) -- A helicopter from private military contractor Xe crashed outside Baghdad on Friday, killing two crew members and leaving two other injured, a company spokeswoman said.

The MD-530 "Little Bird" went down Friday morning at Butler Range, a training facility outside Baghdad, said Stacy Capace, a spokeswoman for the company formerly known as Blackwater.

An investigation into the crash is under way, and it was not known whether there was any hostile fire in the area at the time, Capace said.

"On behalf of all the employees of Xe Services, our thoughts and prayers are with our four brothers involved in this incident and with their families," the company said in a statement on the crash. "We are reminded of the risk in serving our nation and ever more proud of the men and women who bravely accept that risk on behalf of all Americans."

The company and its role in the 6-year-old war in Iraq have been magnets for controversy since 2004, when four Blackwater contractors were killed and their bodies mutilated in the insurgent-riddled city of Fallujah.

After a shooting in a Baghdad square in 2007 left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, Iraq's government refused to renew Blackwater's operating license, and it lost its contract to protect U.S. State Department personnel in Iraq earlier this year.

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