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2 Marines Killed, 2 Injured In Osprey Crash In Morocco

Two U.S. Marines have been killed and two others injured when the V-22 Osprey they were in crashed Wednesday during a training exercise in Morocco.

NPR's Larry Abramson is reporting that the reservists were part of a Marine unit participating in the annual African Lion exercise with the Moroccan military. The two severely injured Marines are being treated in country.

More information about those killed and wounded will be released after the notification of next of kin.

The cause of the crash is still being investigated, but NPR's Abramson notes:

"The V-22 uses a unique tilt-rotor technology that allows it to take off like a helicopter, and fly like a plane. It was notorious for its high cost, and for crashes that killed dozens of personnel earlier in the craft's development."

According to The Associated Press, the Osprey crashed southwest of Agadir, Morocco, after taking off from aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima.

More from the AP about African Lion:

"The 10-day exercise was set to end April 17 and involves 1,000 U.S. Marines and 200 soldiers, sailors and airmen. They were working with some 900 Moroccan soldiers. According to the U.S. Marine website, the exercise involved 'everything from combined arms fire and maneuver ranges, aerial refueling and deliveries of supplies, to command post and non-lethal weapons training.' "

The main unit involved in the exercise is the 14th Marines, a reserve artillery regiment based in Fort Worth, Texas; it also includes members of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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