Baghdad, Nov 15: US forces backed by aircraft killed 25 suspected insurgents in operations targeting al Qaeda near the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the US military said today.
In a statement, the military said the suspected insurgents were killed during operations late on Tuesday and early yesterday west of Tarmiya. It said 21 suspects were detained.
The statement said U.S. forces called in aircraft to attack armed men seen acting with ''hostile intent'' in the area of the operation. One gunman was killed.
Ground forces then moved further into the area, where they came under fire. Troops again called in aircraft, killing 24 suspected insurgents.
Troops found a weapons cache that included numerous anti-aircraft guns, surface-to-surface missiles, rifles, pistols, grenades, mortar rounds and artillery shells, the statement added.
US commanders say they have made substantial gains fighting al Qaeda in Iraq, a militant Sunni Islamist group blamed for most major car bomb attacks in the country.
Iraqi police were not immediately available to comment on the Tarmiya operation.