Middle East News
Two die in Fallujah blast, Iraqi army kills 63 militants (Roundup)
Jul 12, 2007, 13:27 GMT
Baghdad - At least two people were killed and eight others wounded in the Iraqi city of Fallujah on Thursday when a suicide attacker targeted a police recruitment centre, a police source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
'The primary death toll from the attack is two recruits killed and eight more wounded,' the source said.
'Police and ambulances rushed to the scene and carried the casualties to the Fallujah public hospital, while tight security measures were imposed around the scene,' he added.
Elsewhere, police in Baghdad freed a hostage allegedly kidnapped by al-Qaeda-linked armed group, a Baghdad police source told VOI Thursday.
'Police forces from a recruitment centre in Abu Ghraib in western Baghdad managed to free a citizen from al-Furat neighbourhood in Baghdad who was kidnapped by al-Qaeda members a month ago,' the source said.
'The released citizen said that elements from al-Qaeda abducted him a month ago while he was driving his truck on the Baghdad- Fallujah highway.'
'The forces also managed to capture elements from al-Qaeda in al-Khudier region in western Baghdad,' VOI quoted the source as saying.
'They found 100 civilian vehicles which had been stolen by the armed group on the Baghdad-Amman international road,' he told VOI, adding that amounts of light arms were also found.
In Basra, VOI reported that British army units were carrying out a security operation since early Thursday.
'A British force launched at dawn a crackdown operation in al-Shafi region, north of Basra, where they found a weapons cache,' media spokesman for the Multi-National Forces in southern Iraq Major Matthew Bird told VOI.
Bird also said that British bases in the former presidential palaces area in central Basra and the Basra international airport northwest of the city came under indirect fire during the past 24 hours without human or material damage resulting.
In Salahaddin province, US military planes bombed a small village south of Samarra late Wednesday killing four civilians, said VOI Thursday, citing witnesses.
Shiekh Hazbar al-Assoudi, chief of the Bou-Assoud tribe, told VOI that US military planes and helicopters 'bombarded our village (al-Sa'ioiya) late last night targeting houses and farms, causing the death of four and wounding many others.'
Assoudi said 'US forces evicted many wounded people in two planes to an unknown location.'
Assoudi said the move was unjustified, since no armed operations or clashes took place in the village during the past few days.
In Mosul, the bodies of three people believed to have been murdered were handed over Thursday to forensic investigators. Among them was an oil-installation security guard, VOI reported.
Iraqi official sources said Thursday that 63 suspected terrorists were killed in operations spanning Baghdad, Mosul, Salahaddin, Baquba, Ramadi and Kirkuk the previous day. Some 80 suspects were also detained the same day, a government statement said.
On Thursday, while in London for talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern about worsening violence in Iraq and where US policy on Iraq might be heading.
Ban told the BBC that he was making contingency plans in case of a sudden change of direction in US policy. His comments come as a new interim report on Iraq is expected in Washington today.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur