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Six Iraqi females killed in fighting between U.S. soldiers and suspected insurgents

Six Iraqi females killed in fighting between U.S. soldiers and suspected insurgents

U.S. soldiers fought with suspected insurgents using a building as a safe house in Ramadi on Tuesday, killing one Iraqi man and five females, ranging in age from an infant to teenagers, the U.S. military said.
Elsewhere, sectarian violence killed nine other Iraqis and wounded about 50, police said. The tortured bodies of 50 people also were discovered, most of them in Baghdad and the north city of Baqouba, police said. Several of the corpses had been dumped at a bus station or outside a government building.
Parliament voted to extend Iraq's state of emergency through December, but the U.S. military warned of even worse sectarian violence after last week's deadly insurgent attack on Shiites in the capital.
Citing the insurgent attack that killed more than 200 people in Baghdad's Sadr City Shiite slum on Thursday, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, a U.S. military spokesman, said al-Qaida in Iraq is determined to dominate Baghdad, weaken the Iraqi government and kill as many Shiites as possible to deepen Iraq's sectarian divisions.
"We expect to see elevated levels of violence as a result of this over the next several weeks," Caldwell said at a news conference in the Green Zone, the heavily fortified section of Baghdad where the Iraqi government and the U.S. and British embassies are based.
He also said that while recent polling has indicated that a large majority of Iraqis feel more loyalty to their democratically elected government than to their sect, ethnic group or tribe, "these numbers by themselves do little to counter the violence currently raging on Baghdad's streets."
The parliamentary vote continues the state of emergency that allows a nighttime curfew and gives the government extra powers to make arrests without warrants and launch police and military operations. The measures, in place everywhere except for the northern autonomous Kurdish region, have been renewed every month since they were first authorized in November 2004.
The fighting began in Ramadi _ the capital of Anbar province, where many of Iraq's Sunni insurgents are based _ when a patrol of U.S. soldiers discovered a roadside bomb in the Hamaniyah section of the city, and two suspected insurgents fled to a house, where they took up positions on the roof, the military said.
As coalition forces removed the bomb, the suspected militants opened fire on the soldiers, who fought back with machine guns and tanks, the statement said.
Afterward, coalition forces searched the house and found the six bodies, ranging in age from an infant to teenagers, the military said, without providing their ages.
Another female also was wounded but refused treatment, it said.
One of the gunmen may have been wounded and removed from the scene by other militants, the statement said, adding that there were no coalition casualties.
The military quoted residents as saying the building "was a known anti-Iraqi force safe house."
Ramadi, 115 kilometers (70 miles west) of Baghdad, has been the scene of some of Iraq's fiercest fighting between U.S. forces and insurgents.
"In a very tragic way, today reminds us that insurgents' actions throughout Iraq are felt by all," said Marine Lt. Col. Bryan Salas, a military spokesman. "Efforts are under way to coordinate and offer available assistance to surviving family members."
A U.S. Marine also died Monday in another area of Anbar province, the military said, raising to at least 2,881 the number of members of the American military who have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
Meanwhile, videotape footage obtained by AP Television News appears to show the wreckage of a U.S. single-seat F-16CG jet in the farm field where it crashed Monday and the remains of an American serviceman with a tangled parachute nearby.
U.S. forces investigating the crash said that insurgents had reached the site before American forces could and the pilot is missing. Al-Jazeera satellite television showed similar pictures Monday, but declined to include the scenes of the dead pilot, saying they were too graphic to air.
The U.S. Air Force jet crashed about 20 miles (30 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad while supporting extensive ground combat by coalition forces in Anbar province, where many of Iraq's Sunni-Arab insurgent groups operate, the Air Combat Command said.
Fighter jets flying overhead when the crash occurred "confirmed that insurgents were in the vicinity of the crash site immediately following the crash," the command said. When U.S. soldiers reached the area, "The pilot was not found at the crash site and his status cannot be confirmed at this time."
DNA samples were taken from the scene and were being tested, it said.
The F-16 was deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad Air Base in Iraq.
Caldwell told reporters there is no indication the plane was shot down.
Tuesday's worst attacks by suspected insurgents included two car bombs that exploded near a hospital morgue in Baghdad, killing three civilians and one policeman and wounding 19 civilians, police said.
In Diyala province north of the capital, where heavy fighting between police and Sunni insurgents has raged for several days, a roadside bomb exploded in the town of Baladrooz, killing three civilians and wounding four, a police officer said. He also spoke on condition of anonymity out of concern for his security.
North of Diyala, an Iraqi governor survived an assassination attempt when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the official's convoy. The attacker with an explosive belt hidden beneath his clothing approached the convoy at 9:35 a.m. as it was driving slowly through the center of Kirkuk near the city's main public hospital, police said. The man tried to enter the governor's car, but when the door was locked he blew himself up.
Gov. Abdul Rahman Mustafa and his bodyguards were not harmed, but the powerful blast hit civilians standing nearby, killing one of them and wounding 17, police said.
Meanwhile, public anger appeared to remain strong in Sadr City, which is a stronghold of the Mahdi Army militia of radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a key backer of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
More than 2,000 Sadrists marched through the slum to mark the seventh anniversary of the assassination of the cleric's father, Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr, a revered Shiite religious leader.
"Thursday's attack was another attempt by the terrorists who killed Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr to destroy Sadr City and his followers," said Hazim al-Araji, an aide to Muqtada al-Sadr. "Despite the severe casualties we just suffered, we were determined to hold today's ceremony."
Al-Maliki will meet with U.S. President George W. Bush in neighboring Jordan this week to discuss the surge of sectarian violence that threatens to push Iraq into a full-scale civil war.


Updated : 2021-10-16 16:43 GMT+08:00