Gunmen Kill 24 In Iraq

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Gunmen killed at least 24 police, soldiers and government workers in Iraq on Monday, and an Iraqi general said about 50 suspected insurgents were captured in the first days of a new security operation in Baghdad.

The latest bloodshed occurred in a series of small-scale ambushes and shootings, as Baghdad received a respite Monday from the wave of suicide bombings that killed 22 people in the embattled capital the day before.

However, a car bomb targeted U.S. and Iraqi troops in Rawah, 175 miles northwest of Baghdad, witnesses reported. At least one person, believed to have been a civilian, was killed, the witnesses said.

In other recent developments:

  • The military said a U.S. Marine died in a non-hostile incident on Sunday at a U.S. base in Ramadi. At least 1,766 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
  • Al Qaeda in Iraq reported Monday that one of its "field commanders" had been killed by coalition forces in western Iraq, the terror group purportedly said in a statement posted on a Web site used by militants. The statement did not say when the man, Abi Salih al-Ansar, was killed.
  • In Jordan, Iraq's planning minister criticized the shortfall in donations pledged by foreign countries to rebuild his country, telling a global reconstruction conference that most aid had been spent on security. Barham Salih said of $32 billion in loans and grants pledged two years ago, Iraq has received only $7 billion.

    The deadliest attack Monday was in the western Baghdad district of Khadra, where eight policemen died in a gunbattle with insurgents, police said. It was unclear if the insurgents suffered casualties.

    Gunmen also killed at least five other police officers, including a colonel, in attacks around the capital, police and hospital officials said. Three civilian government employees were killed in separate ambushes in Baghdad, police reported.

    A policeman died in a shootout between insurgents and security forces just north of Baghdad in Taji, police said. And in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, gunmen killed a police colonel, an Interior Ministry official and three Iraqi soldiers in a series of attacks.

    In the north, gunmen killed two Iraqi soldiers in eastern Mosul and assassinated Abdul-Ghani al-Naimi, whose brother is a member of the Iraqi parliament.