Wednesday, August 08, 2007

U.S. raid, airstrikes in Sadr city kill dozens; U.S. says only militants killed, but Iraqis say civilians among casualties

Above: A 16-year old boy weeps over the coffin of his father who was killed in the U.S. airstrike. Left: Men grieve over a family member as his coffin is taken for burial following the raid.

32 suspected militants killed by U.S.-led troops

U.S.-led forces swooped into the Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City on Wednesday, killing 32 suspected militants in fighting and an air strike. Iraqi police and witnesses said nine civilians were killed in the attack...

The military account of the raid said U.S. and Iraqi ground forces came under sporadic small-arms fire as they targeted a group of buildings in Sadr City, the sprawling Shiite district in eastern Baghdad. The raiders killed two armed men believed to be lookouts, then detained 12 rogue militia fighters, the military said.

Attack helicopters and warplanes then struck after spotting a vehicle and a large group of armed men on foot who were trying to attack the ground forces. An estimated 30 militants were killed in the air attack, according to the statement.

The military statement was issued after Iraqi police and witnesses in Sadr City said a bombardment by U.S. helicopters and armored vehicles killed nine civilians, including two women, and wounded six others. The police officer and witnesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals, also said 12 people were detained.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune

U.S. military says Baghdad air strikes kill 30

U.S. air strikes in Baghdad on Wednesday killed what the American military said were 30 militants suspected of transporting roadside bombs from Iran, but local authorities said civilians were among the dead.

Hospital officials put the death toll in the area at 13. A U.S. military spokesman said there were no civilian casualties in the strikes by helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft in Sadr City, a sprawling Shi'ite slum in northeastern Baghdad.

"There were women and children in the area when we conducted the operation, but none were killed in the air strike," Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Garver said.

The manager of the Imam Ali Hospital in Sadr City said 10 people were killed, one of them a woman, and seven men wounded. Sadr City Hospital had received three bodies, its manager said, and four wounded, including a 13-year-old boy.

Police said 11 people died, including women and children.

Read the rest at the Washington Post

U.S. airstrike in Sadr City kills 32

Forty people have been killed in a military raid and street fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City, the capital's volatile Shiite slum, Iraqi and U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Iraqi and coalition troops overnight killed 32 people in Sadr City -- most of them in an airstrike -- in an operation targeting a militia cell with suspected links to Iran, the U.S. military said. Twelve people were detained in the raid.

Separately, fighting broke out early Wednesday between U.S.-led coalition forces and Mehdi Army militiamen in Sadr City, leaving at least eight people dead and 10 wounded, according to Iraq's Interior Ministry...

Shiite-dominated Iran has strong support in Sadr City. The cell the raid targeted is suspected of bringing weapons, especially roadside bombs, from Iran to Iraq and of bringing militants from Iraq into Iran for terrorist training, the U.S. military said.

Read the rest at CNN