Iraqi Jihad Update: resistance to Al-Qaeda in Baghdad and a suicide/martyrdom attack in Fallujah. By Sinan Salaheddin for Associated Press (thanks to Morgaan Sinclair):
BAGHDAD (AP) – A battle raged Thursday in west Baghdad after residents rose up against al-Qaida and called for U.S. military help to end random gunfire that forced people to huddle indoors and threats that kept students from final exams, a member of the district council said.
Meanwhile, a suicide bomber hit a police recruiting center in Fallujah, killing as many as 25 people, police said – though the U.S. military said only one policeman was killed and eight were wounded. Elsewhere, three policemen and three civilians were killed and 15 civilians were wounded when a suicide truck bomber struck a communications center on the western outskirts of Ramadi, according to Anbar provincial security adviser Col. Tariq Youssef Mohammed….
U.S. forces backed by helicopter gunships clashed with suspected al-Qaida gunmen in western Baghdad’s primarily Sunni Muslim Amariyah neighborhood in an engagement that lasted several hours, said the district councilman, who would not allow use of his name for fear of al-Qaida retribution….
But the councilman said the al-Qaida leader in the Amariyah district, known as Haji Hameed, was killed and 45 other fighters were detained.
Members of al-Qaida, who consider the district part of their so-called Islamic State of Iraq, were preventing students from attending final exams, shooting randomly and forcing residents to stay in their homes, the councilman said….
The Fallujah suicide bomber killed at least 10 policemen in the attack, which occurred about 11 a.m., according to a police official in the city who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. The rest of the dead were civilians, many of them in line seeking jobs as policemen. He said as many as 50 were wounded.
Fallujah General Hospital had received 15 bodies and 10 wounded, according to a doctor there, who would not allow the use of his name because he feared retribution. The physician said he believed other casualties were taken to the nearby Jordanian Hospital and private clinics.
A member of the Fallujah city council, who also asked for anonymity for fear of attack by insurgents, said there were at least 20 killed and 25 injured.