Deadly clashes in northern Iraq

At least four people were killed and around 10 wounded in clashes between suspected insurgents and Iraqi security forces in the restive northern province of Diyala, officials said on Sunday.

Deadly clashes in northern Iraq

At least four people were killed and around 10 wounded in clashes between suspected insurgents and Iraqi security forces in the restive northern province of Diyala, officials said on Sunday.

The clashes erupted on Saturday afternoon in the orchard area of al-Hdaid, near the city of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad. Baquba is the capital of Diyala.

Sadiq Jaafar al-Hussaini, deputy head of Diyala provincial council, said the Iraqi security forces were trying to capture "a den of snipers" in the area. He said four members of the Iraqi army and police were killed.

One security source said three policemen and three insurgents were killed in the fighting, and 10 Iraqi security forces were wounded. A police source put the casualties at eight killed -- three policemen and five insurgents -- and 12 wounded.

Iraqi security sources sometimes give conflicting figures of casualties.

Hussaini said insurgents planted bombs around the area to prevent security forces from entering, but the Iraqi army was able to break through the barricade. "There are good indications that the operation will end soon," he said.

The clashes started after a roadside bomb went off near a police patrol and insurgents opened fire, Diyala Governor Abdul Nassir al-Mehdawi said.

"Security measures are in place, the orchards are surrounded and now the search for insurgents is about to start to arrest the criminals who planted the bomb," Mehdawi told Reuters.


Agencies

Last Mod: 12 Eylül 2010, 14:44
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