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5 dead after Russia helicopter shot down in Syria

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Russian Helicopter

(CNN)[Breaking news update at 6:56 a.m. ET]

All five crew members on board a Russian helicopter shot down in Syria are dead, Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik reported Monday.

A Russian Defense Ministry statement said the helicopter was downed after making an aid delivery to Aleppo.
“Those who were aboard the helicopter, according to information from the Defense Ministry, have died heroically because they were attempting to steer the machine to minimize the casualties on the ground,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Russian state media.
 
[Previous story, published at 6:43 a.m. ET]
A Russian helicopter with five people on board has been shot down after delivering aid to the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Russia Defense Ministry said Monday.
 
The Mi-8 helicopter was shot down by ground fire with three crew members and two officers on board as they returned to a Russian base, according to a ministry statement cited by Russian state TV. The condition of those on board is unknown, the ministry said.
 
The helicopter downing comes with deadly fighting underway in eastern Aleppo, where rebels are trying to break a Syrian government siege, in an offensive that has given way to days of airstrikes by regime and Russian warplanes.
 
Between 200,000 and 300,000 people are believed to be trapped in eastern Aleppo.

CNN’s Matthew Chance contributed to this report from Moscow.

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