Two F-18s crash in Iraq: 33 killed in fresh wave of violence
* US pilot’s body found
* 14 Iraqi civilians die in Ramadi
* US forces kill 12 near Syrian border
* Iraqi official and three cops shot dead
RAMADI: At least 26 people including a group of Iraqi workers were killed as US forces clashed with insurgents on Monday and Tuesday, medics and the US military said.
Six people including a US soldier, one Bulgarian and four Iraqi officials died in other violence. One US Marine pilot was killed in a crash. Search teams have found the body of a US Marine pilot whose F-18 crashed in Iraq, but a second warplane is still missing, the US military said on Tuesday.
The two F-18s crashed on Monday night while flying missions from the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson, which is based in the Gulf off southern Iraq.
One US soldier from the 1st Corps Support Command was killed and another injured by an improvised explosive device at the Baghdad International Airport on Monday, the US military said.
Fourteen Iraqi civilians were killed when US forces and Iraqi National Guardsmen battled insurgents Ramadi on Tuesday, a hospital official said.
Moneim Aaaftan, the director of Ramadi Hospital, said he had been told the fighting took place at a checkpoint on the edge of Ramadi, 110 kilometres west of Baghdad. He said a group of workers were among the dead.
Insurgents have stepped up their attacks in Baghdad since Thursday’s announcement of a partial government line-up.
US forces killed 12 people and injured two others, including a six-year old girl, in a firefight and bombing close to the Syrian border on Monday, the US military said in a statement on Tuesday.
It said six soldiers of the US-led coalition in Iraq were injured in the fight against suspected members of Al Qaeda’s wing in Iraq, which is headed by Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Coalition forces followed a truck which drove to a small camp from a suspected insurgent location at the town of al Qaim, 200 kilometres northwest of Baghdad and 1.6 km from the Syrian border, the US military said.
The truck was loaded with material from a shed and tent at the camp and several adult males also boarded the truck before it headed back towards al Qaim, the statement said. “Before the occupants in the vehicle could reach their destination the commander of the operation decided to interdict the vehicle; upon stopping the truck, the suspected insurgents opened fire on coalition forces,” it said. “A firefight ensued with nine enemy adult males killed in action and one enemy wounded”.
Three more people were killed by a coalition airstrike on the camp. An Iraqi government official was gunned down in Baghdad on Tuesday, while three policemen were killed in attacks north of the capital, security sources said.
“Ahmed Subeih Weiss, a senior official at the Ministry of Water Resources, was shot dead by gunmen in the Dura district,” an Interior Ministry official said. In Samarra, three policemen were shot dead by insurgents in separate attacks, police major Naef Hamid said.
In Baghdad, a car bomb exploded near a police patrol in Gazaliya, wounding a policeman and a civilian, the official added.
Another three bombs went off in the capital, wounding three policemen. A Bulgarian soldier died and another soldier was injured on Tuesday when his vehicle crashed in a sand storm in Iraq, the Balkan state’s Defence Ministry said. reuters/afp