Iraq: US Army kills 17 ”insurgents” as six bodies found in Baghdad

Published October 29th, 2006 - 12:42 GMT

Gunmen opened fire on a convoy of Iraqi Sunni pilgrims bound for the holy city of Mecca on Sunday, killing at least one person, while the American army said its forces killed 17 "insurgents" preparing to ambush American troops.


According to the AP, the pilgrims were some 15 miles from the city of Baqouba when gunmen spryed their convoy with machine gunfire, said a spokesman for Diyala province's Public Relations and Information Bureau.


The convoy of U.S. troops ran into the "insurgents" planning the ambush near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad, the military said. American warplanes killed three "suspected insurgents" in an initial attack and 14 more in a second in assault with ground forces.


"Despite the terrorists' ambush attempts, coalitions forces successfully continued their operation and detained three suspected terrorists," the US military said in a statement.


Elsewhere, Iraqi and U.S. forces encircled the town of Hawija, 165 miles north of Baghdad, and searched for armed men who had fired on patrols, said Brig. Sarhat Qadir of the police force in the nearby city of Kirkuk. In Baqouba, gunmen shot dead two policemen at a downtown intersection, said an officer.


In another incident, a sports presenter at state television station Iraqiya was killed with her driver in Baghdad on Sunday. The Iraqiya official said Naqsheen Hamad was a presenter on Iraqiya's sports division, al-Atyaf.


According to Reuters, she and her driver, Anas Qasim, went missing on the way to work on Sunday morning and police later said their bodies had been found in central Baghdad. Police said the bodies were among six found in different parts of the city on Sunday.

On Saturday night, gunmen shot dead a translator for U.S. forces outside a restaurant in Diwaniyah, 80 miles south of Baghdad, police said.



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