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Two US Marines killed in Morocco helicopter crash

U.S. Navy via Reuters, file

An MV-22 Osprey, similar to the one that crashed in Morocco Wednesday, lands on the flight deck of an amphibious transport dock ship in the Atlantic Ocean Oct. 19, 2009.

Two U.S. Marine Corps personnel were killed and two others were seriously hurt in a helicopter crash in Morocco, according to a statement by U.S. Africa Command.

The statement said that an MV-22 Osprey operating from the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima crashed in a Royal Moroccan military training area southwest of Agadir, Morocco, while participating in “Exercise African Lion,” Wednesday. 

“Four U.S. Marine Corps personnel were on the aircraft at the time of the incident. Two personnel died as a result of their injuries sustained in the crash,” it said. “The two other personnel were severely injured in the crash and are being medically evacuated for further treatment.”

The MV-22 Osprey was assigned to a Marine squadron based at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, N.C, the statement added.

“The cause of the incident is under investigation,” the statement said.

An annual event, Exercise African Lion 2012 began on April 8.

The statement said it was a “theater security cooperation exercise led by U.S. Marine Forces Africa and is conducted annually between the U.S. military and the Kingdom of Morocco to further develop joint and combined capabilities.”

The exercise is designed to improve field and aviation training, humanitarian civic assistance, amphibious landings, intelligence capacity building, and command post and peace support operations.

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