Iraq military helicopter crashes, killing nine

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi military helicopter crashed south of Baghdad on Tuesday killing nine people due to a “technical problem”, a security spokesman said.

“A military helicopter of the Mi-17 type crashed because of a technical problem,” killing its crew of nine, two of them officers, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told AFP.

The Soviet-designed helicopter, which is intended for transport but can also be equipped with weapons, was en route from Iraq’s main southern city of Basra to the city of Kut, southeast of Baghdad, Rasool said.

A Kut police captain said the crash occurred in an area east of the city.

It is not the first Iraqi military helicopter crash in recent years.

In August 2014, an overloaded helicopter crashed after delivering aid to people besieged by the Islamic State jihadist group on Mount Sinjar, killing its pilot and injuring passengers including a member of parliament.

In April 2014, a military helicopter crashed north of Baghdad, killing Lieutenant General Hassan Karim Khudayr.