US strikes suspected Iraqi insurgents

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Sunday, April 8, 2007

U.S. warplanes bombed suspected Iraqi insurgents in the Iraqi city of Diwaniya on Saturday. The reports from the United States military stated that the insurgents were armed with rocket propelled grenades and were a danger to their forces in the southern city of Diwaniya, 110 miles (177 kilometres) south of Baghdad.

The United States military said that residents in the predominantly Shi'ite city tipped them off to the arrival of insurgents carrying rocket propelled grenades in the area. "The troops made positive identification of the militiamen and called for the air strike," a military statement said.

A U.S. military spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Scott Bleichwehl, said:

One person [sic] had been killed when a warplane fired on gunmen carrying rocket-propelled grenade launchers. The engagement was initiated by a tip that was called in by a local citizen. We had visual confirmation that there was a hostile target. There was no collateral damage.

In a statement the Iraqi police informed The Associated Press that one civilian was killed and five seriously injured when a U.S. tank fired upon a house in Diwaniya. The air strike was a part of a military program on insurgents located in the city of Diwaniya, which is widely known to be the home of Shi'ite insurgents. It is spearheaded by the new Iraqi army and is supported by soldiers and paratroopers within the coalition.

U.S. troops and Iraqi soldiers stormed the city before dawn on Friday the 6th of April, killing three insurgents and capturing 27 people, the U.S. military said. Code named Operation Black Eagle, the operation is targeting insurgents loyal to anti-American Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Among the discoveries and captures the assault force in Diwaniya came upon a site where powerful explosives were being assembled.

A spokesman for al-Sadr stated that on Saturday militia fighters in Diwaniya had destroyed three American vehicles and captured a robot used to detonate roadside bombs.