BAGHDAD, Iraq – A U.S. airstrike killed eight suspected terrorists and destroyed a building south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Friday.
The attack occurred Thursday night in Arab Jabour, a mostly Sunni Muslim suburb south of Baghdad.
American troops came under "heavy enemy fire during a raid targeting Al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists and foreign fighter facilitators," the U.S. military said in a statement.
Coalition aircraft swooped in, dropping precision bombs on a building where eight suspects had barricaded themselves, the statement said.
All eight were killed. No U.S. forces or Iraqi civilians were injured in the attack, the military said.
An Iraqi army officer, who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media, confirmed the raid and number of people killed. He added that Iraqi soldiers did not take part in the clashes.
A separate U.S. airstrike hit a Kurdish position in northern Iraq, killing at least five Kurdish troops and wounding six, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Friday.
The U.S. military said the airstrike was targeting Al Qaeda fighters, but later issued an apology, saying the five men killed had been identified as Kurdish police.
Kurdish officials put the casualty toll at eight killed and six wounded, and said the men were guarding a branch of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan — led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a key supporter of U.S. efforts in Iraq.
The U.S. military said the attack was launched after ground forces identified armed men in a bunker near a building they thought was being used to make bombs. The troops called for the men to put down their weapons in Arabic and Kurdish and fired warning shots before helicopters fired at the bunker, the military said.
Elsewhere, gunmen dressed in Iraqi army uniforms swept into a village south of Baghdad, kidnapping 13 civilians and killing at least 11 of them, police said.
The attack occurred around 5 a.m. local time in Imam village, a predominantly Shiite town about 50 miles south of the Iraqi capital.
About two hours after the abduction, police found eleven bodies with gunshot wounds to the head and chest, and they were believed to be those who had been kidnapped, police and the Iraqi army said.
An Iraqi army spokesman acknowledged that the gunmen wore Iraqi army uniforms and drove military vehicles, but said they were not government soldiers.
"We did not have any duties in that area, and those vehicles do not belong to us," said 1st Lt. Murad al-Maamouri. "They are terrorists of course."
Al-Maamouri said Iraqi soldiers were patrolling the area on foot, searching for the other two captives.
The U.S. military said Friday that three U.S. soldiers were killed in fighting in Iraq's western Anbar province.
The soldiers, who were assigned to Multi-National Force — West, died Thursday from wounds sustained while conducting combat operations in the insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, the military said in a statement.
Their names were withheld pending notification of relatives.