Friday, August 17, 2007

US troops fight insurgents in Tarmiyah mosque after receiving fire; Hellfire missile launched into building

Above: A Stryker brigade from the 2nd Infantry Division rolls past a mosque in Tarmiyah in May. It is not known if this was the mosque involved.

U.S. troops clashed with suspected Sunni insurgents holed up in a mosque north of Baghdad and launched an air-to-ground Hellfire missile into the structure. One American soldier was killed in the fighting, the military said Friday.

The soldier was killed and another was wounded when troops stationed at a nearby outpost came under heavy small-arms fire from the Honest Mohammed Mosque late Thursday in Tarmiyah as they targeted about six insurgents who were believed sheltered inside, according to the military.

The U.S. forces then cordoned off the area and, unable to find the mosque's preacher, sent the Sunni mosque's groundskeeper into the building to persuade those inside to come out after they refused calls on loudspeakers, the military said.

"About 20 left the mosque and stated there was no one left in the mosque. This was not true," said Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, a military spokesman for northern Iraq. He said those 20 had been detained.

Troops spotted gunmen on the roof so the missile was fired at the building, Donnelly said, adding that attack helicopters spotted three suspects running from the mosque but did not fire on them.

Read the rest at the Guardian