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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chopper Crash Kills 14 in Iraq

BAGHDAD -- A helicopter crash in northern Iraq killed 14 U.S. soldiers Wednesday, the U.S. military said, the worst incident of its kind in more than two years.

Also in northern Iraq, at least 20 people were killed when a suicide bomber rammed a fuel tanker into the gates outside a police station in Baiji, 180 kilometers north of Baghdad. Another 40 people were wounded.

A U.S. military statement said initial indications suggested that the Black Hawk helicopter had suffered mechanical failure, the second incident of its kind in eight days.

"There were no indications of hostile fire," it said. "Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were on a night operation when one of the aircraft crashed. That helicopter had been carrying four crew members and 10 passengers," it said.

n Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki lashed out Wednesday at U.S. criticism, saying no one had a right to put timetables on his elected government.

Maliki blamed the U.S. presidential campaign for the recent tough words from U.S. politicians.

"No one has the right to place timetables on the Iraq government. It was elected by its people," he said at a press conference in Damascus at the end of a three-day visit to Syria.

U.S. Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said Monday that Maliki should be ousted and replaced with a less sectarian leader. (Reuters, AP)