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Fighting Erupts After US Troops Arrest Alleged Insurgent Leader in Iraq


13 July 2007

The U.S. military says its troops killed six Iraqi policemen and seven suspected militants in Baghdad during a raid to arrest an Iraqi police lieutenant accused of insurgent activity.

A military statement said a street battle erupted Friday, when U.S. troops came under fire from an Iraqi police checkpoint. Officials said U.S. war planes struck in front of the police "to prevent further escalation."

The U.S. military said the police lieutenant detained in the raid is an Iranian-backed Shi'ite insurgent leader.

In separate operations in Iraq Friday, the U.S. military says two terrorists were killed and 19 others detained.

In Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, Iraqi police said mortar attacks killed at least two Iraqi soldiers.

Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, U.S. Major General Benjamin Mixon said progress is being made against the insurgency, but he warned against a rapid U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

In other violence in Iraq, the New York Times says an Iraqi reporter working for the newspaper was shot dead in Baghdad. His death comes just one day after two employees of the Reuters news agency died in Baghdad during clashes between U.S. troops and militants.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.



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