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Coalition troops kill 20 insurgents in southern Iraq
Cat : War Against Iraq
Date : 2006-10-08 16:38:19                      Reader : 298
occupation civil war, split of the country into cantons, Iraq wealth exploitation , military bases construction, will increase Iraq sufferance !!


CNN.COM 8/10/2006

Coalition troops kill 20 insurgents in southern Iraq


BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. and Iraqi soldiers battled with insurgents overnight in Diwaniya, a predominantly Shiite city about 95 miles (150 kilometers) south of Baghdad, killing 20 insurgents, according to a U.S. military spokesman.

No coalition soldiers were wounded or killed, the military said.

The fighting began as insurgents launched three rocket-propelled grenade rounds at coalition troops who were conducting a combat operation, the spokesman said.

One round damaged a U.S. Abrams tank, he said.

The U.S. and Iraqi troops fought back, killing 20 insurgents, the spokesman said.

Iraqi Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf said Iraqi and U.S. troops were conducting searches and raids of houses in two neighborhoods in the area early Sunday.

Diwaniya is a stronghold of the Mehdi Army, the militia loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

On Saturday morning, a suicide truck bomber hit an Iraqi army checkpoint, killing at least 14 people and wounding 13 in the northern city of Tal Afar, police and hospital officials said.

Four of those killed were soldiers. Four of those wounded were also soldiers.

Tal Afar is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of Mosul.

In Baghdad, plagued by sectarian violence between Shiites and Sunnis, Iraqi security forces found 51 bodies in various neighborhoods. Some showed signs of torture, some were blindfolded and some had their hands tied behind their backs. None of the bodies could be immediately identified.

Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, also saw its share of violence.

Two bodies were found there, both with their hands bound and apparently tortured, Diyala officials said.

Also in Baquba, gunmen opened fire on an outdoor market, killing two people and wounding three, according to police.

An Iraqi man was killed when a roadside bomb hit his car in the town of Khan Bani Saad, south of Baquba.

Meanwhile, a U.S. soldier was killed during an operation near the Iraqi city of Baiji in Salaheddin province, north of Baghdad, the U.S. military announced Saturday.

The soldier -- with Task Force Lightning -- was assigned to the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the military said.

The death puts the U.S. military death toll in Iraq at 2,729. Seven military contractors also have been killed.

General: 150 insurgents arrested in Kirkuk
Iraqi security forces and the U.S. military arrested 150 insurgents Saturday in a 13-hour, house-to-house operation in Kirkuk, the city's deputy police chief said.

Brig. Gen. Torhan Abdel-Rahman told CNN that the 5,000 security force troops also confiscated 450 pieces of light weaponry during their sweep of most of the city.

The searches followed a citywide curfew imposed Friday evening. That curfew, which banned all vehicle and pedestrian movement, will be lifted at 6 a.m. local time on Sunday, Abdel-Rahman said.

Kirkuk -- home to Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens -- has been a cauldron of ethnic tension in Iraq.

'Drifting sideways'
The White House on Friday differed with a dire assessment of Iraq by a top Republican senator returning from a visit with Iraqi officials and U.S. commanders in Baghdad. (Watch key GOP senator's warning after Iraq visit -- 2:29 )

Sen. John Warner of Virginia, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the situation in Iraq is "drifting sideways."

"I don't believe that the president thinks that way," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Friday. "I think that he believes that while it is tough going in Iraq, that slow progress is being made."

Warner cited what he called an "exponential rise in the number of deaths" and the failure of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government to disarm warring factions.

"In two or three months, if this thing hasn't come to fruition, and if this level of violence is not under control and this government able to function, I think it's a responsibility of our government, internally, to determine: Is there a change of course that we should take?" Warner said.


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