Troops kill 40 gunmen near Baghdad, official says

Officials in Iraq say fighting between government troops and Al Qaeda-inspired militants has killed 40 gunmen and an army officer near the capital, Baghdad.

In a statement posted on the Interior Ministry's website, spokesman Saad Maan Ibrahim said Thursday that members of security forces foiled an assault by the militants on a military base in Youssifiyah, killing 40 "terrorist attackers."

Maan said that one army officer was killed during the clashes. Youssifiyah is about 12 miles south of Baghdad

Police officials said the attack started late Wednesday and lasted for a few hours. They confirmed the military's account and said the attackers withdrew after the arrival of security enforcements to the area. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.