Saturday, November 08, 2003

An Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed Friday — apparently shot down by insurgents — killing all six U.S. soldiers aboard and capping the bloodiest seven days in Iraq for Americans since the fall of Baghdad.

In retaliation, American troops backed by Bradley fighting vehicles swept through Iraqi neighborhoods before dawn Saturday, blasting houses suspected of being insurgent hideouts with machine guns and heavy weapons fire.

"This is to remind the town that we have teeth and claws and we will use them," said Lt. Col. Steven Russell, commander of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment.

Russell also said the 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew, which had been lifted at the Oct. 27 start in Iraq of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, was reinstated Friday night.

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