Gulf & Middle East
Violence kills 42 across Iraq as raids continue
Apr 10, 2007 - 9:12:07 PM

Baghdad, April 10 - At least 42 Iraqis were killed and scores wounded in violence across Baghdad Tuesday, police sources said as joint US-Iraqi army raids continued across the capital.

At least 16 Iraqis were killed and 30 wounded when a female suicide bomber blew herself up among a crowd of people in al-Muqdadiya town, said police sources.

A group of volunteers were gathering outside a building housing a police station and a local court to sign up for the police force when the suicide attacker detonated her explosives belt.

Police forces quickly sealed off the town near Baquba, 60 km north of Baghdad. The wounded have been taken to a nearby hospital.

At least six people were killed and more than 20 wounded in a roadside car bombing in the busy al-Gadriya district of southern Baghdad.

The attack occurred near a college and witnesses reported seeing a number of ambulances rushing to the scene. Roads leading to the scene of the blast were immediately sealed off.

Meanwhile, Iraqi and US military forces conducted air and ground raids in al-Fadl district of Baghdad early Tuesday. Witnesses said that at least 20 Iraqis have been killed. The dead included two youths and 30 injured including several women and children.

Six militants have allegedly been arrested. The US and the Iraqi military have yet to confirm the arrests.

Witnesses claimed that US helicopters fired at busy residential and commercial areas, while ground forces used teargas grenades.

A witness, who requested anonymity, said raids had been continuing since dawn.

'The armed engagements developed after military jets and helicopters struck the neighbourhood,' he said, adding, 'I saw the destruction of an entire building, and the smoke that filled the air.'

Reports that a US helicopter had been downed during an exchange of fire have yet to be officially confirmed.

The intense joint US-Iraqi raids are targeting insurgent hideouts and armed groups deemed responsible for the violence in Baghdad.

In another development, US-led Coalition forces said they had killed one militant and detained 12 terrorist suspects during operations targeting al-Qaeda members south of Haditha, 350 km west of Baghdad.

Four US soldiers were killed in combat operations Monday, the US military announced Tuesday.

One soldier died in al-Anbar province, while three others were killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near their patrol in southeastern Baghdad.

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