Raids on al-Qaeda forces in northern Iraq have left seven gunmen dead, the U.S. military said. However, local police said Friday that two women and two U.S.-allied fighters were among those killed.
According to the AP, the U.S. army said in a statement that one target of the raids late Wednesday and early Thursday was an alleged al-Qaeda leader in the Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad.
According to the military account released Thursday, troops killed two gunmen during a gunbattle in one area, then called in air support, which killed another four fighters. One civilian was hurt and evacuated for further care, while troops detained 15 suspects. All those killed were "terrorists associated" with al-Qaeda in Iraq, said Lt. Michael Street, a military spokesman.
An Iraqi police officer in the area, however, said a house that was bombed belonged to a Sunni and tribal leader, and that six family members died. The officer said the bombing occurred about 33 miles southwest of Kirkuk and two of the victims were women.
Another two of those killed, he said, were part of an Awakening Council, one of the Sunni groups that last year abandoned their support for al-Qaeda and started joining the U.S. in its effort to clear out al Qaeda men. Separately, in an operation Wednesday in southeast Mosul, the U.S. military said it killed an activist wearing a suicide belt who shot at troops as they were targeting the building of an alleged al-Qaeda supporter.