BAGHDAD - US troops killed five suspects and captured 30 others Wednesday in
a raid in Iraq's western Anbar province, a day after police uncovered 17
decomposing corpses beneath two school yards in the provincial capital.
The US military also announced a
discovery made nearly a week earlier - 3,000 gallons of nitric acid hidden in a
warehouse in downtown Baghdad. US forces found the acid - a key component in
fertilizer but also explosives - during a routine search operation last
Thursday, the military said.
Iraqi schoolchildren inspect holes where buried bodies were
found, in their school yard in Ramadi, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of
Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, April 17, 2007. [AP]
Violence continued to rage Wednesday, with mortar attacks and roadside
bombings across the country.
Two brothers were killed and a policeman was hurt in a gunbattle in downtown
Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, police said. The dead were believed to
be civilians, caught in the crossfire as police fought unidentified gunmen.
Farther north, 32 mortar shells rained down on Iraqi army checkpoints in two
neighborhoods of Mosul, 225 miles northwest of the capital, police said. Six
soldiers, a policeman and a pedestrian were injured.
An Iraqi army officer and two soldiers were also wounded at dawn in Tal Afar,
50 miles west of Mosul, when gunmen attacked their checkpoint as well, police
In the ethnically-mixed city of Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, an
investigative judge at the city's criminal court was injured in a drive-by
shooting, police said.
Judge Ayad Ali Asaad, a Turkoman, was driving with his wife and a guard when
gunmen blocked their way and opened fire, police said. All three were wounded.
Mortar shells also hit several neighborhoods south of Baghdad's center early
Wednesday, wounding at least four civilians in two separate attacks, police
said. Two bodies of men handcuffed and killed execution-style turned up
Wednesday in Dora, also in southern Baghdad.
The night before, a civilian was killed and four injured when a mortar round
hit their house in western Baghdad, police said. Also Tuesday, a roadside bomb
went off next to an ambulance in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad. Four
people, including a patient in the back of the vehicle, were wounded, police
The US raid took place early Wednesday near Karmah, a town northeast of
Fallujah, which lies 40 miles west of Baghdad.
American forces raided a group of buildings suspected of being used by
militants, and found explosives inside one of them, the military said in a
statement. A helicopter was called in, and dropped precision-guided bombs on the
cluster of buildings, it said.
Meanwhile, troops came under fire and reacted in "self-defense," the
statement said - killing five Iraqis and wounding four others.
The wounded were taken to a military hospital and remained in US custody.
Twenty-six others were captured as well, the military said.
The bodies found a day earlier at school yards in Ramadi, Anbar's provincial
capital, were discovered after students and teachers returned to the schools a
week ago and noticed an increasingly putrid odor and stray dogs digging in the
area, Police Maj. Laith al-Dulaimi said.
He said one body had not yet been recovered from a separate burial site
behind one of the schools because authorities feared it was booby-trapped with a
Ramadi had been a stronghold of Sunni insurgents and al-Qaida fighters until
recently, when the US forces in the region and the Iraqi government successfully
negotiated with many local tribal leaders to split them off from the more
militant insurgent groups.
Thousands of young Sunni men have joined the police force in Anbar province
and have taken up the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq, the umbrella
organization that includes al-Qaida.