Baghdad: Iraqi, US forces battle gunmen
Iraqi forces backed by U.S. soldiers battled gunmen in central Baghdad early Tuesday, and blasts were heard in the area, police and witnesses and the U.S. military said.
The Defense Ministry said 50 gunmen were killed.
According to the AP, police sources said the clashes erupted when gunmen attacked Iraqi army checkpoints in the Haifa Street area, and that Iraqi forces appealed to the U.S. military for help. The Iraqi defense ministry issued a statement saying eleven people were arrested, including seven Syrians.
A U.S. military spokesman said American and Iraqi forces on Tuesday launched "targeted raids to capture multiple targets, disrupt insurgent activity and restore Iraqi Security Forces control of North Haifa Street." "This area has been subject to insurgent activity which has repeatedly disrupted Iraqi Security Force operations in central Baghdad," Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl said in a statement.
In other incidents Tuesday, a policeman was injured when a roadside bomb hit his patrol car in downtown Baghdad, police said. Another roadside bomb missed an Iraqi army patrol in Mosul but injured an eight-year-old girl nearby, Iraqi Col. Eidan al-Jubouri said.