American helicopter shot down during combat operation

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U-S military has confirmed that an American military helicopter went down during combat operations today.

A military statement says two crew members were killed. It says the incident occurred while the helicopter was "conducting operations to assist Iraqi Security Forces" near Najaf.

Iraqi authorities say the helicopter crashed while providing close air support to Iraqi troops battling militants who planned to carry out attacks against Shiites during upcoming holiday commemorations.

Iraqi authorities say about 250 militants were killed in the battle.

Earlier, the U-S military said that three American military personnel were killed yesterday.

Today in Baghdad, five students at a girls' school in Baghdad were killed in a mortar round attack and at least seven others died in bombings in the capital.

Eleven people were killed in northern Iraq after two car bombs exploded within a half hour in the northern city of Kirkuk.