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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US Troops Kill 27 in Iraq

Voice of America

VOA News
13 Jun 2003, 10:31 UTC

U.S. military officials say troops have killed 27 people in Iraq after coming under attack Friday northeast of Baghdad.

The officials say troops killed four attackers after being targeted with rocket-propelled grenades in the town of Balad. U.S. forces then pursued the rest of the group with armored vehicles and helicopter gunships, killing another 23 attackers. The military did not say, if there were any U.S. casualties.

The incidents took place in a region where coalition forces have recently stepped up operations against suspected supporters of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

In another development, two explosions ripped through an oil pipeline in northern Iraq. There were conflicting reports whether the blasts were the result of sabotage.

Some witnesses are reported to have said that bombs caused the explosions late Thursday on a pipeline exporting oil to Turkey.

However, an Associated Press news agency report quotes Captain John Morgan, a U.S. military officer as saying the incident does not appear to have been sabotage.

The explosions follow the announcement of the awarding of contracts to European and American companies to export nine-point-five million barrels of Iraqi crude oil. The sale of Iraqi oil is to be used to help rebuild the war-torn country.

Earlier, American attack helicopter was shot down in western Iraq Thursday. U.S. military officials say coalition forces quickly recovered the two unhurt crew members.

U.S. Central Command also said that U.S.-led forces attacked a terrorist training camp northwest of Baghdad, killing a number of people during the raid.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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