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US, Iraqi Troops Capture Insurgents in Baghdad


The U.S. military says American and Iraqi troops have repelled a series of coordinated attacks in Baghdad, killing six insurgents.

Officials said Saturday that U.S. attack helicopters responded to the assault, which included suicide car bombs, one which killed an Iraqi soldier. Twelve insurgents were captured in the fighting.

In a separate incident, U.S. troops captured seven suspected insurgents and seized a car bomb being prepared for an attack.

Earlier, U.S. and Iraqi troops backed by American fighter planes launched attacks against insurgents in western Iraq, the latest in a series of allied offensives in the Euphrates River valley, where bloodshed has greatly increased over the past two months.

About 1,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops are involved in the operation around the towns of Haditha, Haqliniyah and Barwanah, which straddles a key infiltration route for weapons and foreign fighters entering Iraq from Syria.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports in Sunday's edition that the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, General John Abizaid, has outlined plans to gradually reduce U.S. forces in Iraq by 20- to 30-thousand troops next year.

It said the top American general in Iraq, General George Casey, called last month for a similar reduction plan.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

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