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US Military Says 6 Terrorists Killed in Iraq

06 October 2007

The U.S. military says coalition forces have killed six more terrorists in Iraq. They also deny that an air attack on Friday hit innocent civilians. VOA's Jim Randle reports from northern Iraq.

In an e-mailed message to journalists, military officials said four of the militants were hit by an operation targeting an associate of al-Qaida in Iraq, south of Baghdad.

Two others died in a separate raid near Samarra, northwest of Baghdad.

Nine suspects were captured in these raids, and 21 more were detained in other actions across the country.

The U.S. military also denied reports that 25 people who died in a U.S. military operation on Friday were innocent civilians.

The operation took place near Baquba, northeast of the capital.

The military says it has confirmed the dead were members of an extremist group accused of smuggling weapons from Iran.

Some Iraqi authorities and local villagers have said civilians were among the dead.

In the meantime, Iraq's National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie strongly denounced the idea of launching an attack on neighboring Iran from Iraqi soil. The Arabic language interview, recorded on Friday, was aired on Iraqi television Saturday.

He also asked Iraq's neighbors, presumably Iran, to stop supporting militia groups inside Iraq.

In a separate newspaper interview published in the Washington Post, Rubaie said Iran has significantly increased its involvement in Iraq, supplying more sophisticated weaponry to groups that attack U.S. forces.

He said Iraqi forces are catching only a small number of the Iranian agents and arms shipments flowing into Iraq.

Iran has denied meddling in Iraq's affairs, and Washington has said it is pursuing a diplomatic course to resolve its differences with Iran.


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