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Seven civilians killed in US raid


The northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar was on edge yesterday after at least seven civilians were killed during an operation by Iraqi and US troops against insurgents there. Thirteen others were wounded in the violence, a hospital source said. According to the US military, one of its soldiers died when his vehicle was struck by a bomb there on Monday (...)"Around 100 families have been evacuated in the last few days," an Iraqi army captain said, adding that some had left before the evacuation order to escape the fighting. Television footage showed Iraqi soldiers bursting into houses searching for weapons, pictures of former president Saddam Hussein and video cassettes before leading suspects away...

[15505]



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Seven civilians killed in US raid

Gulf Daily News



Baghdad, September 7, 2005 - The northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar was on edge yesterday after at least seven civilians were killed during an operation by Iraqi and US troops against insurgents there. Thirteen others were wounded in the violence, a hospital source said. According to the US military, one of its soldiers died when his vehicle was struck by a bomb there on Monday.

Two more soldiers were killed and two wounded early yesterday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in central Baghdad. "Their vehicle rolled over after striking an improvised explosive device," a statement said.

The Tal Afar operation was launched by Iraqi police and troops backed by US forces some days ago because they say the town is a conduit for foreign fighters slipping into the country.

"Around 100 families have been evacuated in the last few days," an Iraqi army captain said, adding that some had left before the evacuation order to escape the fighting.

Television footage showed Iraqi soldiers bursting into houses searching for weapons, pictures of former president Saddam Hussein and video cassettes before leading suspects away.

Early yesterday, US marine jets dropped bombs on two light bridges across the Euphrates river near Karabilah, which is close to the Syrian border, to prevent insurgents from moving in foreign fighters and munitions, the US Command said.

A Marine statement also said US and Iraqi forces destroyed a "foreign fighter safe house", killed two foreigners and arrested three others during a raid in the same area.

US troops, meanwhile, handed over military control of Najaf - home to Iraq's top Shi'ite leader Ayatollah Ali Sistani - to Iraqi forces yesterday, marking a significant transfer of security responsibilities. It is part of a plan to gradually turn over full territorial control to Iraqi forces once they are deemed competent enough, paving the way for a US military withdrawal.

In Baghdad, a parliamentary panel drafting a new constitution said last-minute efforts to fine-tune the text to overcome objections from minority Sunni Arabs had failed. Five million copies of the document will go into print starting tomorrow, in time for a referendum due by October 15.

But there was unity among the two communities when hundreds of Shi'ites joined their Sunni compatriots yesterday in honouring a Sunni man who died trying to rescue Shi'ite pilgrims during the recent stampede.

Saddam, meanwhile, met his Iraqi lawyer Khalil Dulaimi in Baghdad for the first time since the government set his trial date for October 19.


:: Article nr. 15505 sent on 07-sep-2005 23:58 ECT

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Link: www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=121369&Sn=WORL&IssueID=28171



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