20 Iraqis, most of them civilians, killed in Fallujah as teaching institute chief shot dead
Fighting between Iraqi resistance warriors and American-led forces in the city of Fallujah has killed 20, the US military said Saturday.
A Fallujah hospital official, Dr. Salim Ibrahim, had said Friday that clashes, which had been reported on earlier, killed 13 Iraqis and wounded 14 others.
Many of those wounded, including at least one child, appeared to be civilians injured in U.S. airstrikes, he said, adding that he could not give an exact count of the dead, because many bodies had been torn apart in the US attacks.
A U.S. military spokesman told The AP on Saturday that the fighters were killed during clashes between 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday.
Iraqis started the fighting Thursday by ambushing a patrol with gunfire, mortars and rocket propelled grenades before fleeing into buildings in the city, the occupation official said.
The Marines responded with tank and artillery fire at the mortar positions, several hundred yards away, the military said. Iraqi fighters fled into buildings, which the Marines targeted with airstrikes and artillery, the US military said.
The fighting continued in an industrial area and 12 auto repair shops and two houses were destroyed.
At about 12:30 a.m. Friday, U.S. military aircraft attacked Iraqis spotted in a building and four vehicles, the military said.
The Iraqi fighters responded with at least four explosive volleys, but U.S. forces, Iraqi National Guard troops and Iraqi police repelled the attacks, the military said.
There were no U.S. or Iraqi security forces casualties, the military said.
Meanwhile, gunmen killed the chief of a teacher's institute who ignored warnings to stop working for the U.S.-backed Iraqi government, a police official said Saturday.
Lt. Ala'a Hussein said Ismail al-Kilabi, the head of the Mahmoudiyah Teachers Institute south of Baghdad was shot dead Friday as he was leaving a mosque following an evening prayer service.
Hussein, of Mahmoudiyah police, told The Associated Press that al-Kilabi had received warnings to stop working for his state-run institute following the transfer of power from the U.S.-led occupation to Iraq's interim government. (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)