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Oklahoma senator aboard aircraft shot at in Iraq



While visiting in the Middle East, a plane in which U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) was traveling was shot at leaving the airport in Baghdad.


The C-130 military aircraft was en route to Amman, Jordan with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Florida) along with Rep. Bud Cramer (D-Alabama) aboard.


Inhofe's Washington, D.C. office issued a statement on the senator's behalf after the incident. It said no one was harmed.


"I have witnessed first-hand progress resulting from the ongoing surge in Iraq since my last trip to the region. Al Qaeda's unsuccessful attempt to shoot down this C-130 aircraft was a futile effort to influence its losing fight in Iraq, and served to underscore the reality that terrorism is still a threat and that there is still work to be done," the statement said. "The crew's impeccable training and flawless performance ensured the safety of the aircraft and all personnel on board."


The aircraft's crew dispensed flares to defeat potential heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles.


"While this incident may have been harrowing, these are the kind of threats that our men and women in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world continue to face everyday.  They are the front line in the War on Terror and are to be commended for their tireless service," the statement finished.  - Gazette staff




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