BAGHDAD, Iraq – U.S. warplanes launched multiple airstrikes Friday against a suspected "terrorist safe house" in the western Anbar province (search), destroying the building where up to 50 militants were believed to be hiding, the U.S. military said.
Coalition ground forces were alerted by local residents that a number of members of the terror group Al Qaeda in Iraq had gathered in an abandoned building northeast of Husaybah, near the Syrian border about 200 miles west of Baghdad.
The group is led by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi (search), the second most-wanted terrorist on the U.S. list after Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden (search).
"Iraqi citizens reported that approximately 50 terrorists were in the building at the time of the airstrike" which occurred at 4:40 p.m., the statement said.
The "known terrorist safe house" was destroyed by Marine F-18D Hornets (search) using a combination of precision-guided bombs and rockets, it said. There were no immediate reports of the number of casualties inflicted by the attack.