A military helicopter operating off a Canadian frigate crashed into the Ionian Sea, Greek state TV reported on Wednesday.

Broadcaster ERT said that the helicopter was taking part in a NATO operation with three to six personnel on board.

Italian and Turkish frigates have begun search operations for the aircraft which crashed off the west of the Greek island of Cephalonia.

The helicopter went missing after taking off from the Canadian frigate Fredericton.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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