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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

US officials confirm sergeant killed in Yemen Black Hawk crash

The US Department of Defence said Staff Sgt Emil Rivera-Lopez went missing when the helicopter crashed during a training incident on August 25

A US Black Hawk helicopter crashed off the coast of Yemen on August 25 during a training session. In this file photo, US army soldiers get ready to land from a Black Hawk helicopter during an exercise in Lithuania on June 17, 2017. Ints Kalnins / Reuters
A US Black Hawk helicopter crashed off the coast of Yemen on August 25 during a training session. In this file photo, US army soldiers get ready to land from a Black Hawk helicopter during an exercise in Lithuania on June 17, 2017. Ints Kalnins / Reuters

US officials confirmed that a US army staff sergeant was killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash off the coast of Yemen.

The US Department of State said Staff Sgt Emil Rivera-Lopez, 31, went missing when the aircraft crashed approximately 32 kilometres off the southern coast of the country during a training session.

He was declared dead on Thursday, and his identity was released on Friday, reported The Associated Press.

The US military said in a statement last month that six service members were aboard the aircraft. Five were rescued.

At least 80 air strikes have been launched by the US against Al Qaeda in Yemen since the end of February, reported Reuters. A small number of ground raids using US Special Operations forces have also taken place, including one in January that resulted in the death of one US Navy Seal.

Read more: US Black Hawk helicopter crashes off Yemen coast

The August 25 crash was one of a number of aviation mishaps involving US military aircraft in recent months, and the third involving a Black Hawk helicopter.

The US Marine Corps said on Friday that it had recovered the bodies of three marines killed when an MV-22 Osprey aircraft crashed into the back of a US warship during a training mission off the east coast of Australia on August 5.

A search to find five army aviators whose Black Hawk helicopter crashed earlier this month off Hawaii was recently suspended.

In April, one crew member was killed and two others seriously injured when their Black Hawk US army helicopter crashed on a Maryland golf course.

Meanwhile, 16 service members were killed in a military transport plane crash in northern Mississippi last month.