Sources: Scores of Iraqi soldiers, resistance fighters killed in clash west of Baghdad
Eighty "insurgents" were killed in an operation involving Iraqi and US forces against a suspected training camp near Lake Tharthar, north of Baghdad, an Iraqi army commander disclosed on Wednesday.
"We have killed 80 fighters in a battle that lasted 17 hours. We lost 12 of our men including four officers," said Colonel Mohammed Ibrahim with the Joint Coordination Center, according to AFP.
A US military spokesman based in Tikrit confirmed the operation, which took place on Tuesday.
Major Richard Goldenberg of the 42nd Infantry Division told Agence France-Presse "There is an undetermined number of insurgent casualties." He conveyed that according to seized passports and other papers, a number of foreign fighters appeared to have been based at the camp, located some 180 kilometers north of Baghdad.
About 240 members of the Iraqi ministry of interior's 1st Police Commando Battalion took part in the operation, which commenced at about 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Lieutenant Colonel Sarmad Hussein of the unit told Agence France-Presse.
As the force approached the camp, fighters opened fire, killing a number of Iraqi commandos and prompting US forces to dispatch reinforcements by air and ground, the US military said late Tuesday. Seven Iraqi troops were killed and four wounded, Col. Ahmed Essa told The Associated Press.
- Seven Iraqis die in clashes west of Baghdad
- At least one U.S. soldier killed in clash west of Baghdad; Witnesses: U.S. soldiers injured in Fallujah
- Iraqi resistance fighters kill 19 Americans in three seperate attacks
- Four killed, including children in Baghdad rocket strikes as massive US search for resistance fighters underway