Helicopter crash in north Iraq kills pilot, injures Yazidi lawmaker

by Reuters
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 17:27 GMT

* New York Times reporter also injured

* Crash put down to technical fault

* Helicopter was helping stranded Yazidis

BAGHDAD, Aug 12 (Reuters) - An Iraqi army helicopter carrying aid and evacuating displaced members of the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq crashed on Tuesday, in an accident that killed the pilot and wounded passengers, a government spokesman said.

A Yazidi member of parliament, Vian Dakheel, was among those injured, the prime minister's military spokesman, Qassim Atta, told a televised news conference.

During a parliament session this month, Dakheel broke into tears describing the plight of her fellow Yazidis, who have fled hardline Sunni militants of the Islamic State during their onslaught in northern Iraq.

The New York Times reported that one of its reporters, Alissa Rubin, was also injured in the crash, suffering "an apparent concussion and broken wrists".

Aircraft have been dropping food and other supplies to Yazidis who have taken refuge in remote mountains. The United Nations said on Tuesday that 20,000 to 30,000 Yazidis may still be sheltering on the arid Mount Sinjar. (Reporting by Raheem Salman; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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