Al-Jazeera airs Web video of downing of US chopper

The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television aired late Sunday video footage which the station said came from an insurgent Web site showing a US helicopter being hit in central Iraq. The grainy 15 seconds video, filmed from the ground, depicted a helicopter plunging, with a trail of black smoke emanating from it. The station speaker said the video was of a U.S. Army Apache helicopter that was hit near Taji, in central Iraq. No other details were provided by the station. Earlier Sunday, an insurgent group affiliated with al-Qaida in Iraq claimed in a three minute video message, posted on an Internet Web site known to be used by the militants, that its members had shot down an Apache near Taji.