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US Raid Kills 7 Iraqis


The U.S. military says seven Iraqis, including three women, were killed during a raid targeting a suspected al-Qaida operative north of Baghdad.

Local Iraqi officials say the victims were all civilians from the same family.

A U.S. military statement says coalition ground forces surrounded a house in the Tikrit area and killed an armed man suspected of being a bomb expert. The military says when others in the building did not come out, forces called in an air strike that killed three additional suspects and the three women.

The statement says a child was pulled from the rubble and is receiving medical attention.

Earlier Friday, South Korea's Defense Ministry confirmed it will withdraw all its troops from Iraq by the end of the year as planned.

South Korea sent 3,600 troops to Iraq in 2004, but has gradually scaled back to fewer than 600 personnel.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says the U.S. has agreed to withdraw its troops by 2011. But U.S. officials say withdrawal plans are not finalized.

The U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, citing concerns about alleged weapons of mass destruction programs. No such weapons were ever found.

On Thursday, a U.S. military helicopter crashed in southern Iraq outside Basra, killing all seven American soldiers on board. The military says the helicopter was not brought down by hostile fire.

In another development, the U.S. military says coalition forces detained 12 suspected al-Qaida terrorists in Iraq on Wednesday and Thursday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.


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