US Kills 50 Insurgents In Iraq

A U.S. soldier stands guard on the street in front of burning debris left after a suicide car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday.
U.S. Marines and Iraqi forces have killed about 50 insurgents so far in battles that raged Saturday inside a dusty frontier town in the American military's latest campaign to stop the infiltration of foreign fighters from neighboring Syria.

Operation Spear, or Romhe in Arabic, was in its second day in Karabilah, about 200 miles west of Baghdad. Karabilah has long been considered an insurgent hotbed.

The campaign is being waged by about 1,000 Marines and Iraqi forces, backed by main battle tanks, in the volatile Anbar province. About 100 insurgents have also been captured, the military said.

"Approximately 50 insurgents have been killed since the operation began" Friday, Marine Capt. Jeffrey Pool said from Ramadi, the provincial capital. "There have been no additional reports of military or civilian casualties as a result of the operation. No aviation assets have been
damaged or destroyed."

In other developments:

  • The military announced Saturday that two U.S. Army soldiers were killed and one was wounded during a small arms skirmish with insurgents late Friday while transporting a detainee north of Baghdad, the military said Saturday.
  • In other violence, a series of insurgent attacks in Baghdad killed at least four people Saturday, including two Iraqi soldiers and a 10-year-old girl, hospital and police officials said. Twenty others were wounded in the attacks.
  • A suicide car bomber slammed into an Iraqi army convoy in the capital's western Yarmouk neighborhood, killing two soldiers and wounding six near a hazardous highway--also know as the Street of Death--that leads from downtown Baghdad to airport, police Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said.
  • A civilian and the detainee were also killed in the incident late Friday near Buhriz, about 35 miles north of Baghdad. Five Iraqi police were wounded, the military said.

    Meanwhile, another campaign, Operation Dagger, also was launched Saturday against insurgents operating in Anbar--this time targeting the marshy shores of a remote lake just north of Baghdad. About 1,000 U.S. Marines and Iraqi troops, backed by fighter jets and tanks, were taking part in the second operation.