Gulf & Middle East
25 killed in Baghdad, two British copters crash
Apr 15, 2007 - 7:32:47 PM

Baghdad, April 15 - At least 23 people were killed in separate bombings in Baghdad Sunday while two British servicemen died when their choppers crashed midair north of the Iraqi capital.

Interior ministry sources said that 15 people were killed and over 50 injured in two car bombings in a shopping area in al-Shurta al-Rabia neighbourhood in western Baghdad. Several shops and cars were also damaged.

Minutes after the twin blasts, a mortar round landed in the same area.

The apparently coordinated car bombs exploded near a vegetable market, a butcher at the scene said.

Five people were killed and ten injured when a car bomb went off near Abu-Afeef sweets shop in an intersection in Karradah in central Baghdad, the sources said.

The explosion occurred at about 3 p.m. - when an Iraqi police patrol was passing by. Several nearby cars and shops were also damaged.

Also on Sunday a bomb went off inside a mini-van in Kadhmiya neighbourhood in northern Baghdad killing three people and injuring ten, the sources said, adding the explosion caused damages to several cars and houses.

The latest bombings came amid the two-month-old security crackdown in Baghdad, which is seen as the last chance to restore stability in the country.

Meanwhile, two British helicopters collided with each other and crashed in southwest of Taji, some 20 km north of Baghdad, killing two British service personnel and wounding another.

'Two personnel have died and one is very seriously injured. All of them were UK personnel,' British Defence Secretary Des Browne said in a statement issued in London.

He said initial reports suggested the crash in north of Baghdad was an accident and not caused by an insurgent attack, Sky news reported.

Both the helicopters were Pumas, which are normally flown by the Royal Air Force.

Earlier, the choppers were reported to be belonging to US.

Sky news said other British personnel were also involved in the operation but escaped with minor injuries.

The latest incident has brought the total number of British fatalities since its invasion of Iraq in 2003 to 142.

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