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BAKU (Reuters) - A military helicopter crashed in the Caspian Sea near Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, on Monday, local news agencies said.

The Azeri government did not immediately comment but APA news agency said three people had been on board and all were feared dead. Another Azeri news agency, Trend, quoted witnesses as saying they had heard an explosion before the helicopter came down close to the coast.

Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic, supplies energy to Europe and Western companies which are involved in bringing Caspian oil through the Caucasus country.

(Reporting by Lada Evgrashina; Writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Timothy Heritage)