Friday, June 01, 2007

Ameriyah under curfew, residents ordered to remain indoors after U.S. intervenes in fight between al-Qaeda, insurgents

Above: A soldier with 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division scans the area from a roof top during a cordon and search mission in Ameriyah on May 16.

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi and U.S. troops fanned out in a Sunni neighborhood devastated by days of internal fighting between insurgent groups, claiming control of the chaotic area on Friday and putting it under a strict curfew and forcing residents indoors.

Abu Ahmed, a 40-year-old Sunni father of four in Baghdad 's Amariyah neighborhood, said he was among a group of residents who joined in the clashes with al-Qaida fighters on Wednesday and Thursday - fed up with the gunfire that kept students from final exams and forced people in the neighborhood to huddle indoors.

Ahmed denied being a member of any insurgent groups but said he sympathizes with "honest Iraqi resistance," referring to those opposed to U.S.-led efforts in Iraq but also against the brutal tactics of al-Qaida.

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