US forces flex military might

US troops have killed six Iraqis whom they described as supporters of ousted President Saddam Hussein in three separate incidents in north-central Iraq.

    Operation Ivy Cyclone II aimed at intimidating Iraqis

    Some 21 other alleged fighters were also captured, said an occupation spokesman on Monday. 

     

    In Muqdadiya, two assailants fired rocket-propelled grenades at a Bradley fighting vehicle on Sunday night, and the troops returned fire, killing the two. 

    Troops also shot and killed three people who allegedly fired at them from a truck near Samarra, 110km north of Baghdad.   

    In Albushukur village, near the town of Balad, troops killed one person and wounded another when their vehicle allegedly tried to run a traffic checkpoint early on Monday.

    More captures

    Elsewhere in Iraq, another 50 Iraqis, including a resistance leader and two fighters blamed for anti-occupation attacks, were captured. 

    A Central Command (Centcom) statement named the alleged resistance chief captured last Friday in Habbaniya, near Ramadi, as "Qathim Muhammad Faris also known as Abu Kaaf ... a former Iraqi special forces officer and a fedayeen leader." 

    The statement said that Faris was "closely linked" to Khamis
    Sirhan, number 54 on the US army wanted list of 55 former top Iraqi officials. 

    Pipeline blaze

    Meanwhile, Iraq's largest oil refinery in the northern city of Baiji was on fire as US-led forces were deployed to protect the area's infrastructure, said witnesses.

    US forces mount raids in civilian
    areas as occupation toll rises

    Residents of Burjwari, a village near the Baiji refinery,
    said a bomb was placed overnight along a northern pipeline section carrying oil.

    The fire has forced the plant to shut down electricity for two days, said the director of the facility Ali Adjil. 

    The explosion caused a fire in the pipeline and damaged the
    power supply line to the Baiji refinery and the rest of the
    surrounding area, he said. 

    The 300,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Baiji refinery is 250km north of Baghdad. It is Iraq's largest and newest refinery, built in the 1980s.

    Aggressive show

    The latest violence comes amid a US show of strength, as occupation forces fired tank cannons, mortar bombs and helicopter guns near Tikrit, before rolling their heavy artillery through the northern Iraqi town.


    The menacing show early on Monday was aimed to demonstrate the troops' determination to aggressively crush Iraqi resistance and use any force necessary, said senior military officials.

    The overnight display of firepower and the mid-morning military parade were part of an operation dubbed Ivy Cyclone II, launched on Sunday.

    Cannons bearing inscriptions such as Cowboys from Hell or Creeping Death sometimes swiveled towards the crowds.



    The battalion had 150 men alone involved in the operation,
    with hundreds more from other battalions participating. 



    Central bank targeted

    In related news, employees of Iraq's central bank were
    evacuated while a rocket which landed nearby was defused, said witnesses. 
     
    A salvo of rockets crashed into the heart of Baghdad on Sunday night, probably aiming for the bank and adjacent financial institutions, said witnesses. 

    One of the rockets landed in the nearby courtyard of the 19th century Chaldean church but failed to explode, said church guard Muhammad Jassam. Another rocket hit a local cafe but no one was injured.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.