BAGHDAD – A video clip posted on the Internet shows that a crew member on the helicopter that was shot down north of Baghdad Thursday apparently survived — only to be shot to death by insurgents.
The clip, apparently shot and put online by the Islamic Army in Iraq (search), tracks the helicopter as it turns into a fireball and careens toward the ground. Gunmen are seen running toward the crash site.
The group claimed responsibility for shooting down the Russian-built Mi-8 transport helicopter (search), on which all 11 men on board — six American and two Fijian passengers, and three Bulgarian crew members — were killed.
The man shown being shot to death in the video was the Bulgarian pilot, the company that owned the helicopter said Friday. The slain pilot was identified as Lyubomir Kostov (search), said Mihail Mihailov, manager of the Heli Air (search) company.
"The man shot on the video is definitely Lyubomir Kostov, the pilot of the chopper," Mihailov told The Associated Press in Sofia, Bulgaria, after seeing the video on the Internet.
Kostov was the company's main pilot, Mihailov said.
The video showed very little editing and bore the clumsy handiwork of an amateur cameraman. The authenticity of the crash footage could not be verified, but the wreckage visible in the video resembled that seen in aftermath footage filmed by various news outlets at the crash site north of Baghdad.
The video begins with an unseen cameraman breathing heavily and running with the camera toward burning wreckage. Two bodies are visible, one severely charred with nearly all its clothes burned away.
"Look at that filth," someone says in Arabic.
There are brief glimpses of a man carrying an assault rifle along with the cameraman.
The scene moves to tall grass, where a man with thinning, gray hair and wearing a blue flight suit — later identified as Kostov — is lying on his back, the right side of his head bloody.
One of the insurgents begins barking orders at the injured man in English, "Stand up! Stand up!"
"I can't, it's broken. Give me a hand," he replies in accented English, raising his hands for help. "Give me your hand."
It appears the militants help pull Kostov to his feet.
"Weapons?" the gunmen shout at him in Arabic.
The cameraman tells Kostov, whose face is visible, to step back.
"Go! Go!" he shouts.
Kostov then tries to walk, limping with his back to the insurgents, who say something to him that makes him turn around. Kostov raises his hands to somebody off camera as if gesturing to them to stop what they are about to do.
"Carry out God's verdict," someone is heard saying, and the militants shoot Kostov at point-blank range, continuing even after he falls to the ground.
One gunman shouts, "Allahu akbar!", Arabic for "God is great."
In their Web statement, the Islamic Army in Iraq said it killed the surviving crewman "in revenge for the Muslims killed in the mosques of Fallujah."
It apparently referred to the Nov. 13 shooting of a wounded Iraqi by an American soldier in a Fallujah (search) mosque during a U.S. offensive in the city.
The Bulgarian-owned helicopter was carrying six American security contractors who worked for Blackwater USA (search) as bodyguards for U.S. diplomats. The two Fijians were helicopter security guards.
The chopper was the first civilian aircraft downed by insurgents since the war began. On Nov. 23, 2003, a DHL plane was struck by a missile near Baghdad but managed to land safely. There were no casualties.
FOX News' Orlando Salinas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.