Militants say downed Iraq helicopter, post Web video
Reuters | April 21, 2005
|DUBAI - An Iraqi insurgent group said it shot down a commercial helicopter with 11 people on board on Thursday and then killed the only survivor, according to a statement and video posted on the Internet.
The Bulgarian company that owned the downed helicopter said that besides three Bulgarian crew there were six American passengers and two guards from an unspecified country on board.
"One of the crew members was captured alive and killed," the Islamic Army in Iraq said in the Internet statement.
The group posted on its Web site a video of what appeared to be burning remains of the helicopter. A man in blue overalls was shown lying in a grassy area and reaching out for help. "Give me a hand," he was heard saying.
Off-camera insurgents helped the man get up and then ordered him to walk away before shooting him repeatedly to the cry of "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest).
The video, whose authenticity could not be verified, also showed several charred bodies.
The statement said the man was killed to "avenge Muslims killed in cold blood in Falluja's mosques ... in front of the eyes of the world and on television screens without anyone protesting".
It seemed to be referring to widely broadcast images of a U.S. Marine killing a severely injured Iraqi in a mosque in the Iraqi city of Falluja last November after an offensive against insurgents there by U.S.-led forces. Western human rights group said the killing could amount to a war crime.
"The heroes of the Islamic Army in Iraq shot down a transport plane of the army of atheism," said the statement, posted on a Web site often used by Iraqi rebels.