Scores killed in Iraq air strikes

Forty-seven people have been killed in US air strikes in western Iraq, a hospital official says.

    Al-Qaim hospital says it closed because of deteriorating security

    The US military on Tuesday said the dead included a known al-Qaida figure after 

    warplanes launched three waves of strikes near the town of al-Qaim, on the Syrian border, in a remote area Washington has long said is a route into Iraq for foreign Islamist fighters.
     
    An official at al-Qaim hospital said that 47 people had been killed in the attacks - 35 people in a strike on one house and 12 in a second house.

    Speaking to Aljazeera from al-Qaim, hospital director Dr Hamdi al-Alusi said the hospital had been closed because of deteriorating security.
     
    "Among the casualties were children and women, in addition to two of the medical crew which took another headquarters to treat casualties of US bombing," he said.

    Al-Qaida man killed

    US forces said a known al-Qaida fighter was killed in the strikes.

    The US says foreign fighters enter
    Iraq via the border near al-Qaim

    "Intelligence leads coalition forces to believe that Abu Islam and several of his associates were killed in the air strike," a US military spokeswoman said in Baghdad.
       
    The military said in a statement that it had carried out three strikes, initially dropping four bombs on a house in Qusayba, near al-Qaim, referred to by the military as Husayba.
       
    "At approximately 0220 GMT, two bombs were dropped on a second house in Husayba, occupied by Abu Islam, a known terrorist," the statement said.

    "[Abu] Islam and several other suspected terrorists were killed in that attack."

    Some of his associates then drove around 6km to a house in Karabila, a military spokeswoman said.
       
    "Around 8.30am, a strike was conducted on the house in Karabila using two precision-guided bombs. Several terrorists were killed in the strike, but exact numbers are not known."
       
    Abu Islam is an alias used by several fighters.

    US spokesmen had no further information on his identity.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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