US aircraft and ground forces on Monday attacked the city of Baquba following clashes between Iraqi resistance fighters and Iraqi security forces. According to US sources, some 20 Iraqi fighters were killed, AFP reported.
The clashes began at about 8:00 am (0500 GMT) when a bus carrying about 20-to-40 Iraqi fighters arrived in Baquba. Iraqi national guards clashed with them.
Earlier, eyewitnesses said that clashes erupted in a town near to Baquba. A group of some 20 armed men in the town of Buhruz set fire to two police vehicles and three belonging to the national guards and stole any weapons that they found, the witnesses told AFP.
Clashes between Iraqi resistance fighters and Iraqi security forces early Monday south of Baghdad killed seven Iraqi police and national guardsmen and wounded five others, police said. According to The AP, gunmen carried out simultaneous attacks on a police station and an Iraqi National Guard headquarters in Suwayrah, about 25 miles south of Baghdad, police said. Two from the police and five National Guardsmen were killed.
The dead included Maj. Hadi Refeidi, the director of the Suwayrah police station.
Before the clashes, National Guardsmen opened fire at a boobytrapped car approaching their headquarters, killing the driver. The car was loaded with 880 pounds of TNT.
Elsewhere, seven Iraqi policemen and more than 30 Iraqi fighters were killed in clashes in Mosul, with one wounded policeman taken from his hospital bed, butchered and his corpse strung up, the interior minister declared. In recent days, armed groups attacked several police station in the city.
Also Monday, interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's office confirmed that two of his female relatives who were abducted last week have been freed. Allawi's cousin, Ghazi Allawi, 75, his cousin's wife and his cousin's pregnant daughter-in-law were kidnapped at gunpoint last Tuesday in western Baghdad's Yarmouk neighborhood. (albawaba.com)