CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – An al-Qaida-linked coalition of Iraqi Sunni insurgents claimed yesterday that its fighters shot down an American military helicopter, an Army Black Hawk, in a crash that killed 12 U.S. soldiers. The U.S. military has said the cause of the crash has not yet been determined.

The insurgent coalition, the Islamic State in Iraq, posted the claim on an Islamic website, saying that “the lions of Iraq’s Islamic state managed to down a Black Hawk on Saturday, which was followed by a clash with the Crusaders, and that led to the destruction of two Humvees and the annihilation of those inside, thanks be to God.”

The posting’s authenticity could not be independently verified, but it appeared on a website used as a clearing house for militant statements.

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