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US jet crashes in Libya


CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

US jet crashes in Libya

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Tripoli, Libya (CNN) — A U.S. Air Force fighter jet crashed in Libya after experiencing an equipment malfunction, but both crew members ejected safely and are now out of Libya and in U.S. hands, the U.S. military and a senior U.S. defense official said yesterday.
A pilot and weapons officer aboard an F-15E Strike Eagle had flown from Aviano Air Base in Italy to Libya when the fighter experienced problems, the U.S. military command for Africa said in a statement. Both pilots ejected, the statement said.
The pilot and weapons officer suffered minor injuries but landed safely in Libya, the military said.
A U.S. military plane picked up the pilot, a senior defense official said. Libyan rebels recovered the second crew member and “took good care of him” until coalition forces “could come get him,” the official said.

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Both crew members are out of Libya, the official said.
The jet was based out of the Royal Air Force base at Lakenheath, England. It flew to Libya as part of a coalition attack on Libyan air defense targets meant to protect civilians in that country. The action was authorized by the United Nations Security Council.
The crash was “not due to enemy or hostile actions,” said Kenneth Fidler, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command.

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