US airstrike kills six in Iraq

Six Iraqis, including three women and two children, have been killed in a US air strike in the city of Ramadi in western Iraq, a doctor said.

Gunmen took to the streets of Ramadi earlier in the month

Kamal al-Ani, a doctor at Ramadi hospital, said the bodies of six members of a single family killed in the attack had been brought in, before being released to relatives for burial.

Police Brigadier Hamid Hamad Shuka confirmed that there had been an air strike in the south of the city at dawn. He said five civilians were killed in the hit.

Asked about the report, the US military said that the troops came under attack several times on Friday and responded with tank fire and “precision munitions” – a phrase commonly associated with air-launched missiles.
US forces killed “numerous insurgents”, including some waiting in an ambush and gunmen firing at a US outpost, the military said. 

“Coalition forces also noted two unexplained explosions that were possible IED and rocket-propelled grenade misfires,” it said, adding that it was not able to assess civilian casualties in the incident.
Asked to clarify whether the US military was referring to the same incident as reported by Iraqi officials, a spokeswoman said there were no reports of airstrikes around dawn on Saturday.
‘Aggressive approach’

US troops have blocked entrances to the city of RamadiUS troops have blocked entrances to the city of Ramadi

US troops have blocked entrances
to the city of Ramadi

Earlier this week, a senior US general  had said that the US and Iraqi security forces were taking “an aggressive, offensive approach” to reclaim Ramadi from fighters.
Last week, dozens of al Qaeda-linked gunmen took to the streets to announce that the city was joining an Islamic state comprising Iraq’s mostly Sunni Arab provinces.
Shuka said US forces had taken control of the street where the fighters made their demonstration, ordering some families to evacuate their homes and setting up sniper positions.

On Friday, gunmen attacked three military positions in the city with rocket-propelled grenades, mortar rounds and machine-gun fire, police said.
Residents reported further clashes on Saturday and said that the US troops were using loudspeakers to order people to stay in their homes. The US forces also reportedly blocked entrances to the city.

Soldiers captured

In Udhaim, 50km north of Baquba, gunmen at a fake checkpoint seized 11 Iraqi soldiers travelling in a minibus.

The soldiers, who were wearing civilian clothes, were taken out of the bus at gunpoint after the gunmen found their military IDs.

On Thursday, 28 policemen were killed in an ambush near Baquba. That attack followed a separate ambush on Sunday on a convoy of buses in which 13 police recruits were killed and several more were reported kidnapped.

In Baghdad, one person was killed and 35 wounded when a rocket hit an outdoor market in the southern neighbourhood of Dura, according to police. A second person was killed and nine wounded when a bomb went off in a minibus in an eastern Baghdad district, another police spokesman said.

Source: News Agencies

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