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Sunday March 30, 10:32 PM

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Three U.S. troops killed in helicopter crash

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AS SAYLIYA CAMP, Qatar (Reuters) - Three U.S. troops have been killed and a fourth has been injured in a Marine helicopter crash in southern Iraq, a spokesman at the U.S. Central Command war headquarters has said.

The spokesman said on Sunday the Marine UH-1 "Huey" helicopter was not brought down by hostile fire and a Pentagon official in Washington speculated that bad weather might have been to blame.

"Early indications are that on take-off, the helicopter crashed," the Pentagon official said.

Neither Centcom nor the Pentagon had further information, such as the exact location or the time of the incident.

There have been at least two other fatal U.S. and British helicopter crashes since the war to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was launched on March 20.

Eight British soldiers and four U.S. Marines died in one crash, while six Britons and one American died when two Royal Navy helicopters collided in the Gulf.

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