Two U.S. soldiers die in helicopter crash in Morocco

RABAT (Reuters) - Two U.S. soldiers were killed and two others injured when a helicopter crashed on Wednesday in southern Morocco, the spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Rabat said.

The crash of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey in the southern province of Tan Tan is being investigated as a “helicopter incident”, Rodney D. Ford told Reuters by telephone.

“We have been informed that this was a helicopter incident that the marines are investigating,” Ford said.

The two wounded soldiers were taken to a military medical facility in Guelmim, 730 km (450 miles) south of Rabat.

The victims were among some 1,200 U.S. marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen who arrived in Morocco earlier this month for the annual African Lion joint exercise with Moroccan forces at Cap Draa, on the Atlantic Coast.

Radio Plus reported that the crash happened as the helicopter was taking part in an exercise.

In July, 78 people were killed when a Moroccan military transport plane crashed into a mountain near Guelmim during bad weather.

Reporting by Souhail Karam; editing by Andrew Roche