BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi army helicopter crashed due to a technical malfunction during a routine flight on Tuesday, killing all nine crew members, a military spokesman said.
The helicopter went down near the southern province of Kut, joint operations spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told Reuters, saying two pilots and seven army officers were killed.
Police in the southern province of Kut said officers accompanied an army patrol to the crash site in a desert area around 60 km (40 miles) northeast of the province to retrieve the bodies.
Iraq is slowly rebuilding its air force, once one of the world's largest, after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.
(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; editing by Katharine Houreld)