US forces claim to kill 75 fighters in massive raid as three Iraqis die in blast
American occupation forces have launched an offensive against Iraq resistance elements in western Iraq near the Syrian border, and some 75 gunmen were killed in the first 24 hours, the US military said Monday.
It said the offensive, being conducted with U.S. air support in a desert area of Anbar province north of the Euphrates River, was targeting a sanctuary for foreign fighters and a smuggling route.
The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that more than 1,000 U.S. troops supported by fighter jets and helicopter gunships had attacked villages in and around Obeidi, a city near the Euphrates River in western Iraq not far from the Syrian border, on Sunday.
The report said the offensive "was seeking to uproot a persistent insurgency in an area that American intelligence indicated has become a haven for foreign fighters flowing in from Syria." It said the offensive was expected to last for several days.
On Monday, a new wave of attacks was reported in Baghdad. A suicide car bomb killed three Iraqis, police said, according to The AP.
Monday's incidents included a suicide car bomb in southern Baghdad that hit a checkpoint of two police vehicles at a busy intersection, said police Maj. Mousa Abdul Karim. Two policemen and one civilian had been killed and six policemen and three civilians wounded.
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