Update: US military shot villagers during Lakenheath rescue- claim

US military sources have refused to confirm or deny reports that US forces sent in to rescue two airmen after their plane crashed in Libya botched the mission and shot friendly villagers.

The plane, based at RAF Lakenheath, crashed on Monday at 9.30pm about 25 miles south-west of the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

A Marine Osprey search and rescue aircraft retrieved the pilot, while the second crew member, a weapons officer, was taken in by rebels and handed over to the US. Both suffered only minor injuries.

But it has been claimed that the rescue mission fired on Libyan villagers who were trying to help, wounding six of them and causing panic.

A Channel 4 News reporter in the country said the locals were in hospital.

The two crew members were separated after ejecting from the Suffolk-based F-15E Strike Eagle jet at high altitude and drifting down to different locations. A mechanical fault has been blamed for the incident.

The aircraft was flying out of Italy's Aviano Air Base in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

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