BAGHDAD, Iraq, AP – Six people were killed during a raid Sunday as American troops hunted down an al-Qaeda suspect at a safehouse south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. In the capital, a bomb hidden in a shopping bag on a minibus killed at least three passengers.
U.S. forces stormed the house in Youssifiyah, 12 miles south of Baghdad, about 2:15 a.m. Those inside started shooting, and the troops fired back, a U.S. statement said.
Soldiers killed two men who were wearing suicide bomb vests, and a third detonated his explosives himself, the statement said. Two other suspected insurgents were killed.
A woman died in the crossfire, and three women and a child were wounded, the U.S. said. Five American troops were injured, but none seriously.
Five suspected insurgents, including the target of the raid, were detained and weapons were seized, the statement said.
The alleged al-Qaeda suspect was not identified but the military said he worked with foreign fighters to plan bombings. Youssifiyah is located in an area known as the “triangle of death” because of frequent attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces as well as Shiites traveling between Baghdad and Shiite shrine cities to the south.
On April 1, insurgents shot down a U.S. Apache helicopter in the area, killing the two pilots. A new al-Qaeda group claiming responsibility for the attack later posted a gruesome video on the Web showing men dragging the burning body of what appeared to be an American soldier across a field as they shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great!”
The minibus bombing occurred near a mosque in the mostly Shiite neighborhood of Kamaliyah in eastern Baghdad. At least six others were wounded in the morning blast, police said.
Police discovered three corpses of handcuffed men in Baghdad. River patrols retrieved two of the bodies from the Tigris River, near the central district of Jadriyah, and the third was found in a gutter in Baladiyat in eastern Baghdad, police said.
In northern Iraq, gunmen attacked a group of Iraqis driving on a rural road south of the city of Kirkuk, killing two civilians and wounding two others. Kirkuk 180 miles north of Baghdad.
At least five other people were wounded in half a dozen roadside bombings and attacks by gunmen in several cities, including Baghdad.
Late Saturday, gunmen killed a Shiite legislator’s bodyguard as he was walking alone in the northern city of Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, police said.