A helicopter carrying 16 people was shot down and crashed into the sea near Libya's capital on Tuesday with at least nine passengers, including a senior militiaman, confirmed dead, a military official said.
The aircraft was hit by gunfire shortly before noon and went down near the Al-Maya area just west of Tripoli, Colonel Mustafa Sharkasi, a spokesman for the air force of Libya's Tripoli-based government, told AFP.
"We have so far recovered nine bodies, including the body of Colonel Hussein Abu Diyya," a senior officer in the Fajr Libya militia that controls the capital, he said. "We think that all the passengers are dead."
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