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Gun Battle after U.S. Helicopter Is Shot Down

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An American military helicopter crashed and was destroyed outside Fallujah toda. Witnesses said it had been shot down by a rocket fired from the ground.

There was no immediate word on casualties and US troops trying to get to the wreckage were forced back after coming under heavy fire from gunmen,

Gunmen and US troops were in a stand-off, each a distance from the craft.

The wreckage was burning in a field 12 miles east of the siege city, near the village of Zawbaa. The main body of the helicopter was charred and largely destroyed. No bodies could be seen.

The craft did not appear to be an Apache attack helicopter, as it was identified in initial reports. The wreckage was larger and appeared to be a transport craft, though the exact type was not immediately known.

The site was between Fallujah and the western Baghdad suburb of Abu Ghraib, where an Apache was shot down by gunmen yesterday, killing its two crew members.


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