UN helicopter shot down in South Sudan, 4 dead

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Associated Press

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 21 at 12:50 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - South Sudan's armed forces shot down a U.N. helicopter on Friday and all four crew on board died, the United Nations said.

U.N. deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey said the helicopter from the U.N. mission in South Sudan was on a reconnaissance mission when it was shot down.

"In subsequent communications between the mission and the South Sudanese Armed Forces, the SPLA told the mission that it has shot down the helicopter in the Likuangole area in Jonglei state," he said. The SPLA is South Sudan's army.

Del Buey added, "initial reports indicate that the U.N. helicopter crashed and burned."

The U.N. mission immediately launched a search mission, and "it has confirmed the death of all four crew members," he said.

The mission is investigating, del Buey said.

Earlier, the mission had said the Russian-built Mi-8 helicopter was not carrying any passengers.

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