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Insurgents raise al-Qaida in Iraq flag after assault kills 16 in Baghdad

Iraqi security forces inspect the scene of an attack on their checkpoint in Baghdad, Iraq on Thursday. Militants killed 16 people, including 10 members of Iraq’s security forces.

Associated Press

Iraqi security forces inspect the scene of an attack on their checkpoint in Baghdad, Iraq on Thursday. Militants killed 16 people, including 10 members of Iraq’s security forces.

BAGHDAD — Insurgents briefly raised the black flag of al-Qaida in Iraq over a mostly Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad on Thursday during a brazen assault that killed 16 people and laid bare Iraq's fragility as the withdrawal of U.S. troops accelerates and the country's political crisis deepens.

Ten of the dead were from the security forces, four were members of the Sunni Awakening militia and two were civilians, according to the Ministry of Interior. In addition, at least 14 people were injured, and police said the casualty toll could rise as sporadic clashes between security forces and gunmen continued into the night.

The deaths in Baghdad brought the total number of Iraqi security forces killed in incidents nationwide Thursday to 17.

The ferocious mid-afternoon battle in Adhamiyah in northern Baghdad began with gunmen overrunning an army checkpoint on a busy street at around 3 p.m. As police and army vehicles raced to the rescue, the assailants detonated five explosive devices in quick succession.

Army and police officials said the militants pulled down the Iraqi flag from the checkpoint and raised in its place the black banner of al-Qaida in Iraq.

By nightfall, the security forces had sealed off the area.

Meanwhile, officials say U.S. troops remain on track to complete their draw down to 50,000 by Aug. 31. All U.S. troops are scheduled to leave by the end of 2011.

Arrest of U.S. soldiers sought

Spanish National Court Judge Santiago Pedraz on Thursday ordered the arrest of three U.S. soldiers on charges of unlawfully killing Spanish cameraman Jose Couso during the Iraq war. Couso and a Ukrainian cameraman for the Reuters news agency killed when a U.S. tank fired at a Baghdad hotel where journalists were staying in April 2003. Lt. Col. Philip de Camp, Capt. Philip Wolford and Sgt. Thomas Gibson are accused of homicide and of a crime against the international community. The United States says the soldiers fired at the hotel in self-defense, believing a sniper was targeting them.

McClatchy Newspapers

Arrest of U.S. soldiers sought

Spanish National Court Judge Santiago Pedraz on Thursday ordered the arrest of three U.S. soldiers on charges of unlawfully killing Spanish cameraman Jose Couso during the Iraq war. Couso and a Ukrainian cameraman for the Reuters news agency were killed when a U.S. tank fired at a Baghdad hotel where journalists were staying in April 2003. Lt. Col. Philip de Camp, Capt. Philip Wolford and Sgt. Thomas Gibson are accused of homicide and of a crime against the international community. The United States says the soldiers fired at the hotel in self-defense, believing a sniper was targeting them.

McClatchy Newspapers



Arrest of U.S. soldiers sought

Spanish National Court Judge Santiago Pedraz on Thursday ordered the arrest of three U.S. soldiers on charges of unlawfully killing Spanish cameraman Jose Couso during the Iraq war. Couso and a Ukrainian cameraman for the Reuters news agency killed when a U.S. tank fired at a Baghdad hotel where journalists were staying in April 2003. Lt. Col. Philip de Camp, Capt. Philip Wolford and Sgt. Thomas Gibson are accused of homicide and of a crime against the international community. The United States says the soldiers fired at the hotel in self-defense, believing a sniper was targeting them.

McClatchy Newspapers

Insurgents raise al-Qaida in Iraq flag after assault kills 16 in Baghdad 07/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 12:15am]

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