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Activists claim downed Syrian helicopter crew captured by rebels

Activists claim downed Syrian helicopter crew captured by rebels
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By Euronews with Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Reuters
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Activists claim insurgents in Syria have captured several government airmen after their helicopter came down in a rebel-held area.

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Insurgents in Syria have seized at least four government airmen, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports.

The capture purportedly took place after their helicopter came down in a rebel-held area in Idlib province.

Syrian Navy Mi-14 anti-submarine helicopter crashed in Idlib province (north west) #Syria#alnusrapic.twitter.com/EZCaglyMqF

— Tom Antonov (@Tom_Antonov) March 22, 2015

The British-based activist group said opposition fighters – including members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front – had killed one crew member and taken most of the rest prisoner. One person was said to be unaccounted for.

Images posted to social media sites purport to show the injured pilot being led away.

"@uygaraktas One of the Helicopter Crew member before the execution #Syriapic.twitter.com/wHFGM6JqL1"

— ARnews 1936 (@ARnews1936) March 22, 2015

Images of a crew member and pilot of the downed regime helicopter in Idlib, Syria. pic.twitter.com/uTqlUloNyW

— Breaking News (@NewsOnTheMin) March 22, 2015

Syrian state television confirmed the chopper crashed in the country’s northwest following mechanical problems, but simply said authorities were searching for those originally on board.

Meanwhile, a video posted on social media sites appears to show government forces continuing to bomb parts of Aleppo and Dar’a province. Activists claim the military often uses helicopters to drop crude barrel bombs onto rebel strongholds. President Bashar al-Assad denies the allegation.

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