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January 14, 2008

60 Iraqi Militants Die From Transfats and US "Militants," But Mostly US "Militants"

Senator John Kerry blamed the efficient violence of US "militants" on their youth and lack of education and job opportunities.

The U.S. military said on Monday it had killed 60 militants during a week-long offensive in northern Iraq against al Qaeda which has proved a resilient foe and has resisted previous attempts to drive it from the region.

...

The military said in a statement that U.S. and Iraqi forces had killed 60 militants, detained 193 and found 79 weapons caches containing thousands of rounds of ammunition, explosives and home-made bombs during the offensive in northern Iraq.

Troops had found one cache in an underground bunker complex with several rooms during operations in Diyala, a volatile, religiously mixed province north of Baghdad.

But the fighting has not been one-sided. Police said seven policemen were killed when the house they were searching blew up in the town of Buhriz just south of Baquba, Diyala's capital.

Six U.S. soldiers were killed in Diyala last week when a house booby-trapped with explosives collapsed on top of them. It was the single greatest loss of life by U.S. troops so far during the operation.

A similar offensive targeting al Qaeda in Diyala last summer failed to drive out the Sunni Islamist group because many militants escaped before the well-flagged operation.

A series of U.S. and Iraqi operations against al Qaeda in the second half of 2007 largely drove the group from the capital and western Anbar province, and they are now regrouping in the north, U.S. officials say.



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posted by Ace at 06:28 PM

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