Middle East News
At least 50 militants killed in US-Iraqi operation
Jan 9, 2007, 16:21 GMT
Baghdad - At least 50 militants were killed Tuesday in clashes as joint US-Iraqi forces targeted suspected terrorist cells in Baghdad, a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Defence said.
The clashes broke out at dawn Tuesday in Haifa, central Baghdad, during the joint operation in which Iraqi and US troops were backed by US fighter jets and military helicopters, witnesses said.
At least 21 suspects have been arrested so far including one Egyptian and seven Syrians, according to the defence ministry spokesman.
With the operation still underway, the joint Iraqi-US forces were trying to regain control over the insurgent-dominated area around Baghdad's Haifa Street.
In another development, the Iraqi government announced Tuesday the detention of a person suspected of having made the controversial mobile-phone camera recording of Saddam Hussein's execution. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabagh made the announcement, saying the suspect had been turned over to justice authorities.
Further details were not immediately available in the development in the December 30 scandal that triggered worldwide condemnation and the anger of Iraq's Sunni Muslims over the verbal abuse received by the former dictator.
Meanwhile, eight people were killed and 10 others wounded as Iraqi civilians in al-Jihad district of west of Baghdad repelled an attack by armed men, state television channel al-Iraqiya reported.
The United Nations children's agency UNICEF confirmed Tuesday that one of its workers was shot dead in his car as he drove through Baghdad.
Janan Jabero, 52, an engineer, married and the father of two, was killed on Monday evening, said a UNICEF spokesman.
The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, warned Tuesday that large numbers of Iraqis would continue fleeing their homes in the coming year.
The mass displacement of Iraqis was the biggest long-term population movement in the Middle East since the creation of the Palestinian refugee crisis during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the UNHCR said.
UNHCR estimates that out of a total population of 26 million, some 1.7 million Iraqis are displaced internally and up to 2 million have fled to nearby countries.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur