6 Iraqis die in Anbar clash

Infant, girl among victims of U.S. fire

November 29, 2006|By Solomon Moore | Solomon Moore,LOS ANGELES TIMES

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A teenage girl and an infant were among six people killed yesterday during a gunbattle and U.S. tank barrage against suspected insurgents in western Iraq, U.S. military officials said.

The bodies were discovered inside a house from which the suspected insurgents had been firing at American troops who were attempting to clear away an improvised bomb in Ramadi. The city is in Sunni Arab-dominated Anbar province.

"As the insurgents continued to engage the patrol, coalition forces returned fire with main gun tank rounds," a military statement said. "Coalition forces conducted an extensive search of the house and found one male and five females, ages ranging from infant to teen-aged, dead."

A woman who survived refused to accept medical treatment from U.S. troops, the statement said. The suspected insurgents escaped, according to the military.

The military also announced yesterday that a Marine assigned to the Army's 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division was killed by enemy fire in Anbar province the day before.

U.S. military spokesman Army Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV said that military forensics experts continued to investigate Monday's crash of an F-16CG fighter jet 20 miles northwest of Baghdad. The pilot has not been recovered, said military officials. Insurgents were observed in the vicinity around the crash, military officials said. Military investigators are conducting DNA tests from samples collected at the crash site, U.S. officials said.

In the west Baghdad neighborhood of Ghazaliya, six mortar rounds injured 23 people, including women and children. The victims were taken to Yarmuk Hospital, where several hours later two car bombs exploded, killing 14 people and damaging the hospital's morgue.

Also in the capital, Iraqi army special forces soldiers captured two suspected members of a bomb-manufacturing cell during a raid, according to the U.S. military. Seven other people were detained during the raid.

U.S. and Iraqi forces raided a Shiite Muslim mosque Monday night and wounded four militiamen in a gunfight. The forces arrested 14 men at the mosque and confiscated improvised bombs, mortar rockets, machine guns, flak jackets and Iraqi police and army uniforms.

Police patrols in the capital bought 35 corpses to the Baghdad city morgue; all the bodies were those of middle-age men who had been stripped of their identification and shot to death.

In the southern Shiite city of Hillah, more than 3,000 people marched in support of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi army militia.

Meanwhile, a U.S. forensics expert testified at Saddam Hussein's genocide trial to offer evidence gleaned from mass graves filled with the deposed president's alleged victims.

Dr. Clyde Snow showed the Iraqi tribunal slides of bullet-shattered skeletal remains that his forensics experts had exhumed in preparation for Hussein's trial.

The former Iraqi leader, who has appealed a recent conviction for his role in the 1982 killing of 148 Shiites in the village of Dujayl, is being tried for his role in a 1980s military campaign that killed tens of thousands of Kurds.

Solomon Moore writes for the Los Angeles Times.

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