Iraq: 18 ”insurgents” killed as reports say US copter goes down
American forces said they killed 18 "insurgents" in clashes in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, and launched an air strike on Friday against an al Qaeda-linked cell in Baghdad responsible for suicide car bombings.
The U.S. attack in southern Baghdad targeted a network responsible for a "large and devastating number" of suicide car bombings, the military said in a statement, cited by Reuters. "Coalition forces believe that key terrorist leaders were killed during the air strike," the statement said.
The U.S. military also said it was checking reports that a helicopter had gone down north of Baghdad. This came after reports from Iraqi police and residents near Taji that they saw a helicopter come down shortly after dawn.
The fighting in Ramadi, 110 km (68 miles) west of Baghdad, erupted on Thursday and was still raging on Friday morning. The U.S. military said its forces came under small arms fire there on Thursday evening. When American machinegun and tank fire failed to quell the attack, troops called in a missile strike. At least 15 "insurgents" were killed. U.S. forces were again attacked on Friday. When clashes continued, troops again called in a missile strike. The military said three gunmen were killed. It said no U.S. troops were killed or wounded.