Middle East

Iraqi government: IS downs army helicopter over Mosul

The Iraqi government says Islamic State group militants have shot down an Iraqi army helicopter over Mosul, killing the two-member crew.

The Ministry of Defense says in a statement that the incident happened during the operation to retake the city from IS militants.

Officials say the chopper came down as a result of ground fire and landed somewhere in eastern Mosul. Footage from an AP cameraman shows a large ball of fire with a long trail of thick black smoke as the aircraft falling out of the sky Thursday afternoon.

Iraqi air force and army aircraft conduct regular strike operations over the city to support police and special forces units battling the militants. The operation to retake Mosul from IS started last October.