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U.S. Plane Hit by Missile; Lands Safely

U.S. Plane Hit by Missile; Lands Safely

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Guerrillas hit a U.S. Air Force transport plane with a surface-to-air missile, causing the engine to explode, a senior Pentagon source said Wednesday. The plane landed safely.

The C-17 had just lifted off from Baghdad International Airport before dawn Tuesday when the engine exploded, slightly injuring one of the 16 passengers and crew, said U.S. Air Force Capt. Carrie Clear of 447th Air Expeditionary Group, based at the airport.

The plane returned to the airport and landed safely, Clear said.

A senior Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the explosion as a direct hit by a ground-fired missile, "like the DHL" incident that damaged a cargo plane departing the airport last month. That plane, too, landed safely.

Clear said the incident was under investigation.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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