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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Russian helicopter crashes in Syria, killing both pilots

The incident may have been due to a techincal malfuntion, says defence ministry 

A picture taken on February 20, 2018 shows a Russian-made Syrian army attack helicopter dropping a payload over a rebel-held town in Syria. Amer Al Mohibany / AFP
A picture taken on February 20, 2018 shows a Russian-made Syrian army attack helicopter dropping a payload over a rebel-held town in Syria. Amer Al Mohibany / AFP

A Russian helicopter crashed in Syria killing both pilots on Monday, Moscow’s Defence Ministry said.

"A Russian Ka-52 helicopter crashed while on a routine flight over the eastern regions of the Syrian Arab Republic. Both pilots were killed," the statement said, quoted by the TASS news agency.

It added that “the incident may have been due to a technical malfunction" and that a rescue team recovered the bodies.

Monday’s incident marks the Russian army’s second deadly crash in Syria in less than a week. On May 3, two pilots were killed when their jet crashed after taking off from an airbase.

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This brings Russia's official military losses in Syria to 88, according to AFP.

Russian nationals are also regularly reported to be serving as paid mercenaries in Syria, and sometimes killed.

The most recent large military loss acknowledged by Russia came when a transport plane crashed on landing at the Hmeimim airbase in March, killing all 39 people on board.

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