Baghdad (Reuters): An Iraqi army helicopter crashed during a routine flight on Sunday, killing all seven people on board, a military statement and Iraqi air force officers said.

The Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter went down near the southern province of Kut, the statement said. Two pilots and five army officers were killed, Iraqi air force officers told Reuters.

A technical malfunction caused the crash , the military statement said.

Iraq is slowly rebuilding its air force, once one of the world’s largest, after the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.