A US military helicopter crashed during a "combat air patrol" southwest of Baghdad, but the status of the crew was unknown, according to the American command.
Meanwhile, pressure mounted on Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to step aside as the Shiite bloc's nominee for a second term, with some fellow Shiites urging him to withdraw to break the deadlock over a new government amid increasing sectarian violence.
A US statement said the helicopter went down about 5:30 p.m. Saturday during a combat patrol southwest of the capital but gave no further details, except to say that the fate of the crew was unknown. The statement did not identify the type of helicopter.
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