6 Iraqis, 14 Insurgents Killed

Coalition forces backed by a helicopter and jets attacked a safe house being used by suspected foreign insurgents in Iraq, killing 12 militants and a woman, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

The attack occurred Tuesday in Youssifiyah, 12 miles south of Baghdad, an area near where a U.S. Apache helicopter crashed, killing its two pilots, on April 1 in an apparent attack by militants. The militant al-Rashideen Army claimed responsibility for that attack, and Al-Jazeera TV aired footage provided by the insurgents which they claimed showed parts of the wreckage.

In other violence Wednesday — including the bombing of a passenger minibus — six Iraqis and two insurgents were killed. Police also said they found the bodies of 10 Iraqis who had been tortured and killed.

The U.S. military said intelligence led coalition forces on Tuesday to the safe house located five miles north of the site of the April 1 Apache crash.

Upon arrival, the soldiers took direct fire and fought back with the support of a coalition helicopter and jets, killing five male militants outside the safe house, including one armed with a shoulder-fired rocket, and destroying the building, the U.S. military statement said.

A search of the wreckage found the bodies of seven heavily armed male insurgents and an unidentified woman, the military said.

The troops also discovered suicide notes on one of the militants, explosives vests used by suicide bombers, hand grenades and ammunition, the statement said.

The military said the coalition forces did not include Iraqi troops, but declined to say which countries from the coalition took part in the attack.

In Baghdad on Wednesday, a bomb exploded aboard a minibus, killing four Iraqi passengers and wounding two, police said. The bomb, hidden in a shopping bag, exploded as the minibus was driving from the center of the capital to a Shiite neighborhood, said police Maj. Mahir Hamad.

Such privately owned minibuses are frequently used as public transport in the capital.

In southwest Baghdad, police received a tip that two men were traveling in the area with explosives hidden beneath their clothes, said police Capt. Jamil Hussein. After a brief gunbattle, the explosives detonated, killing both men, Hussein said.

In other violence, most of it in Baghdad, five roadside bombs, two mortars and an attack by gunmen killed two Iraqis and wounded 17, six of them policemen, authorities said.

The bodies of four Iraqis who had been kidnapped and killed were found in Baghdad, and six bodies were discovered in Karbala, 50 miles south of the Iraqi capital, police said. Each one of the Karbala victims had been shot in the right eye, said police.

That raised to 102 the number of Iraqi civilians or police who have been killed in insurgency- or sectarian-related violence since Shiite politician Jawad al-Maliki was tapped as Iraq's prime minister designate on Saturday and asked to form a national unity government.