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Iraq police find 2 bodies, possibly Westerners


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U.S. forces go door-to-door in Samarra hunt

Sunday, October 3, 2004 Posted: 11:37 PM EDT (0337 GMT)

Link to CNN

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi police found the bodies of a man and a woman who are believed to be Westerners south of Baghdad, an Iraqi hospital official said Sunday.

The official said that man's body was decapitated and his hands were tied behind his back. The woman, who had blonde hair, had been shot in the head, the official said.

Police found the bodies Saturday near Yusufiya, about 13 miles (20 km) south of Baghdad. Both of the bodies, which appeared to have light skin color, were brought to a hospital in Mahmudiya later in the day.

The bodies have not been identified.

In the ongoing anti-insurgent operation in Samarra on Sunday, U.S. forces searched door-to-door for insurgents and Iraqis went to the city's main hospital to claim the bodies of the dead.

U.S. forces reopened the streets to the hospital after gaining control of the city.

Local officials and residents are incensed over a comment by Iraqi Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib that no civilians were among the approximately 130 killed since the offensive began late Thursday.

One Iraqi told CNN's Jane Arraf, who is embedded with the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division, that his sister-in-law and her six young girls were killed in a vehicle hit by a U.S. airstrike. Other Iraqis at the main hospital said their relatives were civilians, not fighters.

Other residents -- some carrying white flags -- who made their way through battle lines to reach a hospital to claim the bodies of their loved ones. They said the casualties included women and children who had nothing to do with the insurgency.

More than 2,000 Iraqi troops took part in the surprise offensive, with 3,000 soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division providing firepower and expertise.

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice said it was too early to assess the operation.

"The report from the ground is that things have gone well, but it's premature to say things have wrapped up," Rice told CNN's "Late Edition."

"The really good news out of this is that Iraqi forces have fought alongside American forces, and they have done well."

The battle for Samarra is the first step in an arduous campaign to reclaim Iraqi cities controlled or dominated by insurgents before scheduled elections in January.

Samarra is in the Sunni Triangle and is 75 miles north of Baghdad.

"Operations will continue now for a few days before we are satisfied that we've killed or captured as many of the enemy that we can," said Maj. Gen. John Batiste.

Iraq's interior minister praised the operation on Saturday. "Today is a great day for Samarra," said Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib. "The Iraqi government was moving from a defensive position to an offensive position to regain control over all of Iraq."

A U.S. officer said on Saturday that 125 insurgents have been killed and 88 captured since the offensive began.

Falluja airstrike

An airstrike by multinational forces hit a building just after midnight Monday where they said about 25 anti-Iraqi forces were moving weapons on the outskirts of Fallujah, according to a military release.

At least three men were killed Sunday night in what witnesses said was an air strike on a truck in central Falluja, said a journalist who surveyed the scene shortly afterward.

U.S. forces have been conducting near-daily strikes on targets in Falluja believed to be linked to the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi terrorist network.

On Saturday, U.S. airstrikes in Falluja killed 10 Iraqis and wounded 14 others, including several children, according to hospital officials. (Full story)

Beheading claimed

An Islamist terror group posted a video on its Web site Saturday that it claims shows the beheading of a Baghdad contractor.

In a statement, the Army of Ansar al-Sunna said it captured Barie Dawood Ibrahim, whom it described as a "traitor." The group's claims cannot be verified by CNN.

Meanwhile, the Arabic-language Al-Arabiya television network showed a videotape Saturday of a kidnapped Jordanian truck driver. Company manager Mohammed Ajlouni told CNN Sunday he is willing to pull his 51 employees from the capital.

Other developments:

A car bomb exploded next to a U.S. military convoy in western Mosul on Saturday, slightly wounding three U.S. soldiers, a U.S. military spokesman said. Another car bomb wounded a Marine who was on patrol west of Baghdad.

Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri issued a videotaped appeal Saturday asking the hostage-takers to release two Indonesian women seized in Iraq. Her statement was broadcast Saturday on Arabic-language news channel Al-Jazeera. The women were taken hostage in Iraq along with six Iraqis and two Lebanese.

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The situation in I raq really seems to be improving doesn`t it!?

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Nope tongue.gif and it will continue to deterate until the Iraqi army and police are powerful enough to take over.

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Baghdad bomb blasts leave 16 dead

Two powerful car bombs have killed at least 16 people and injured dozens more in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The first bomb went off outside an army recruitment centre near an entrance to the high-security Green Zone in the centre of the city, witnesses said.

The second exploded as a US military convoy was passing along a main road on the east side of the river Tigris.

Bursts of gunfire were heard as a huge cloud of black smoke rose over central Baghdad.

In other developments on Monday:

US warplanes carried out pre-dawn raids on the rebel-held city of Falluja, killing at least nine people, hospital officials said

A car bomb exploded near a primary school in the northern city of Mosul killing at least three people, Iraqi police said

A director of Iraq's science ministry, Thamer Abdellatif, was shot dead on his way to work, along with a female colleague, the Iraqi interior ministry said

Recruits targeted

People who witnessed the first Baghdad bomb attack said the car raced towards the entrance of the Green Zone, which houses Iraqi government buildings and the US and British embassies.

It then detonated close to where recruits were lining up to join the Iraqi security forces.

Hospital and military officials said at least 12 people had been killed and more than 70 injured.

The BBC's Caroline Hawley in Baghdad says the injured were taken to hospital in cars and trucks, many of them with very serious wounds.

One doctor described conditions on the wards as "truly horrible", our correspondent says.

Less than an hour later, another explosion went off in the city's Saadoun Street, apparently targeting a US military convoy.

The Iraqi interior ministry said four people were killed and 12 injured in the second attack, most of them Iraqi bystanders.

Series of strikes

The US military says it has inflicted significant damage on insurgent networks during weeks of "precision strikes" against targets in Falluja, which lies 65km (40 miles) west of Baghdad.

Casualties from Monday's raids included women and children, according to hospital sources.

The US military said it had hit a building where "anti-Iraqi forces" were moving weapons.

A second raid targeted followers of Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the military said.

Zarqawi's followers have claimed responsibility for a string of deadly bombings, kidnappings and other attacks in Iraq since the US-led occupation began.

A member of the Iraqi police force in Falluja told the BBC that the insurgents there included between 3,000 and 5,000 foreign fighters, from countries including Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

The Americans and Iraq's interim government say they are determined to retake rebel-held areas ahead of January's scheduled elections.

Residents scared

Elsewhere, US and Iraqi government forces said on Sunday they had secured about 70% of the city of Samarra, after a two-day assault in which more than 125 insurgents had been killed and 88 detained.

Reports say residents of Samarra - which lies on the main highway from Baghdad to northern Iraq - are too afraid to venture out.

Witnesses in the centre of the city have spoken of American snipers shooting at anyone who appeared on the streets.

Some 5,000 troops poured into Samarra during Friday in one of the biggest operations since the invasion of Iraq.

Story from BBC NEWS:


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these insurgents sure care about their fellow Iraqis, killing 32 children sure showed those damned americans.

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Most of the insurgents arn't even Iraqi, I read that a lot of those Capitured are from Iran and Syria.

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