Unclear casualty toll in Baquba fighting

There are conflicting casualty tolls from the fierce battles between US occupation troops in the Buhruz area, south of Baquba, and Iraqis who resisted American troops' attempts to search civilian homes.

    Some families fled or took refuge in a nearby mosque

    US military officials say Iraqi security forces killed 13 "insurgents" on Sunday - a considerably higher toll than the one given by Iraqi medics.


    Qaysar Hamid, an emergency worker at Baquba General Hospital, said two people, an Iraqi police officer and a civilian, were killed while six other civilians were injured. Some of the casualties had bullet wounds, others shrapnel wounds, he said.


    Earlier, Aljazeera's correspondent reported that at least four Iraqis, including a child, were wounded in the conflict. Salah Hasan said the toll was expected to rise.

    Residents resisted the troops as they tried to enter their homes during search operations, said Hasan.

    White-flagged cars transferred the wounded to Baquba's general hospital. However, not all the injured have been moved, he added. Baquba is about 75km north of the capital Baghdad.

    Explosions could be heard from Buhruz. Many families fled the area while others took refuge in nearby mosques.

    More assassinations

    In Baghdad, armed men assassinated a former regional official who worked under ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's government and his son in a drive-by shooting.

    Brigadier Khalid Dawud, former head of the Nahyia district in Baghdad, was driving in the suburb of al-Dura on Sunday when another car pulled up and opened fire, said police. The assailants fled.

    It was the latest in a string of assassinations to hit Iraq since the fall of Hussein.

    Also, a suspected car bomb exploded in western Baghdad, shaking the city but causing no injuries, said the US military.

    In other news, a US soldier was killed and another is in critical condition after a roadside bomb attack on their vehicle north of Baghdad, said the military

    on Sunday. 

    The attack occurred on Saturday near the town of Baiji,
    about 180km (112 miles) north of Baghdad.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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