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Iraqi Officials: 39 Militants Killed in Battle


Iraqi officials say security forces have killed 39 militants in a battle in the Sunni insurgent stronghold of al-Anbar province.

The officials say the fighting broke out Tuesday in the town of Amiriyah. It involved militants, Iraqi troops and allied tribal fighters.

In Baghdad, Iraqi officials say a car bomb blast killed at least five people, while mortar rounds slammed into a neighborhood, killing seven people. A roadside bomb blast in the capital also killed two U.S. soldiers.

Before dawn Tuesday, Iraqi authorities executed Saddam Hussein's former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan for his role in the deaths of 148 Shi'ites in Dujail in 1982.

In other news, a U.S. general told reporters at the Pentagon that insurgents in Iraq recently used two children to help them pass a checkpoint in Baghdad, and then detonated a car bomb that killed the children.

Major General Michael Barbero said the incident was the first time he has heard of insurgents using the tactic, which he condemned as "brutal" and "ruthless."

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.