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Crew of crashed Syrian helicopter captured by Islamists - media

March 22, 2015, 21:53 UTC+3 BEIRUT
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BEIRUT, March 22. /TASS/. The crew of a Syrian military helicopter that crashed in the northwestern Idlib province has been captured by gunmen of the Jabhat al-Nusra group, Lebanese Daily Star on-line said on Sunday.

According to Daily Star, Islamists captured four of the crew and one more man was killed by armed men in a neighbouring village.

Earlier on Sunday, SANA news agency reported a crash of a Syrian military helicopter in the Idlib province, said on Sunday. According to SANA, the accident was caused by a technical malfunction. "The search operation to rescue the helicopter’s crew in underway," the news agency quoted a Syrian military source. Damascus has not yet officially confirmed the seizure of the crew.

On January 18, thirty-five men - the crew and servicemen of the Syrian army - were killed in the crash of a Syrian military helicopter in Idlib. The crash was caused by bad weather. The pilot was trying an emergency landing in thick fog at the Abu al-Duhur airport 50 kilometres east of the city of Idlib, the administrative centre of the province. The helicopter was carrying munitions and foods for servicemen deployed at a military base.

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