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Scores killed in US Iraq raid: Women and children among victims of air strike targeting "criminals" in Sadr City.

Aljazeera.net

wpic666661.jpg


October 21, 2007


A raid in Baghdad has killed 49 people, according to the US military.

The deaths took place in an early morning operation in Sadr City on Sunday, "targeting criminals believed to be responsible for the kidnapping of coalition soldiers in November 2006 and May 2007", a US military statement said.

Lieutenant-General Justin Cole, a US military spokesman, acknowledged in an email that aircraft were used on Sunday but was not more specific.

Two police sources said the dead included women and children.

One of the sources said the raids came after a US vehicle was targeted by a roadside bomb.

'Criminals'

James Bays, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Baghdad said that although the US claimed all the victims were "criminals", some of those killed were clearly civilians.

A television cameraman has filmed bodies of dead children, he said.

Iraqi police and hospital officials said US helicopters and fighter jets bombed buildings during the 5am raid in the district.

Several houses and stores were damaged.

Clouds of black smoke rose from the area early on Sunday as sirens wailed, heavy gunfire echoed and US helicopters circled overhead, Reuters television footage showed.

The US military said "an estimated 49 criminals" were killed in three separate engagements during a raid targeting a suspected rogue Shia militia leader specialising in kidnapping operations for which he sought funding from Iran.

US troops returned fire after coming under sustained attack from automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades from nearby buildings as they began to raid a series of buildings in the district, according to a statement.

It said about 33 fighters were killed in the clash. Ground forces then called in air strikes, which killed some six fighters.

Funerals

Sadr City is the main stronghold in Baghdad for the Mahdi Army, a Shia militia loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, an anti-American cleric, and has witnessed frequent clashes between US forces and fighters.

Three US soldiers were kidnapped south of Baghdad on May 12.

The body of one of the soldiers was found later that month but the other two are classed as missing and captured.

A US army translator of Iraqi descent, was kidnapped on October 23 last year when he went to visit relatives, including his Iraqi wife, in Baghdad.

His family said he was taken by the members of the Mahdi Army.

One of the police sources said the air strikes left several houses, shops and cars ablaze.

Relatives gathered at the Imam Ali hospital as the emergency room was overwhelmed with bloodied victims and the dead were placed in caskets covered by Iraqi flags.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/4CC14791-5F6B-43B6-B8
72-F8DA51244FE6.htm









(AP)The body of Ali Hamed, who was killed in a raid in Baghdad by U.S. troops, is prepared to be washed for burial in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007.




(AP) Two men mourn for a toddler, an apparent victim of an overnight raid in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007.




(AP) A boy who was wounded during U.S. military attack lies in a hospital in Baghdad's Sadr City October 21, 2007.




(AP) The body of Wisam Khalil, 35, who was killed in a raid in Baghdad by U.S. troops, is prepared to be washed for burial in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007.




(AP) Relatives mourn for Wisam Khalil, 35, who was killed in a raid in Baghdad by U.S. troops, as he is prepared for burial in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007.




(AP)Karim Raheem is comforted by his neighbor after being injured in an overnight raid in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007.




(AP) Brothers Erfan Falesh, left, and Chaloob Falesh, right, are visited in the hospital after being injured in an overnight raid in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007




(AP) Ahmed Abd Ameer holds the mattress where his young nephew, Ali, died after an overnight raid in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007.




(AP) A boy who was wounded during U.S. military attack lies in a hospital in Baghdad's Sadr City October 21, 2007. U.S.




(AP)Ajeel Ali, second left, is comforted by friends after his brother, Ismael, 10, was killed in an overnight raid in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, Oct. 21.




(AP) A man covers a toddler killed during U.S. military attack, in a hospital morgue in Baghdad's Sadr City October 21, 2007.



(AP) A boy who was wounded during U.S. military attack lies in a hospital in Baghdad's Sadr City October 21, 2007. U.S.




(AP) Medics try unsuccessfully to revive Ali Hussein, the victim of an overnight raid in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007.




(AP)Men who were wounded during U.S. military attack lie in a hospital in Baghdad's Sadr City October 21, 2007.




(AP)A man who was wounded during U.S. military attack lies in a hospital in Baghdad's Sadr City October 21, 2007.




(AP) A man surveys the damage to a bakery in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad after an overnight raid on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007.




(AP) Neighbors examine a car destroyed in an overnight raid in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007.




(AP)A woman (2nd-R) collapses outside a hospital morgue while waiting to claim the body of her son killed during U.S. military attack in Baghdad's Sadr City October 21, 2007.




(AP) Mourners carry the coffin of a resident killed during U.S. military attack in Baghdad's Sadr City October 21, 2007.




(AP)Men grieve for their relative at Imam Ali hospital in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City, Baghdad an apparent victim of an overnight raid on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007.


:: Article nr. 37419 sent on 22-oct-2007 04:10 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=37419



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