17 killed, head of press union injured in Iraq

February 24th, 2008 - 12:41 am ICT by admin  

Baghdad, Feb 23 (DPA) At least 17 Al Qaeda militants were killed and the head of the Iraqi press syndicate was injured in violence Saturday, Iraqi officials and media reports said. Joint US-Iraqi forces killed 14 Al Qaeda militants in separate military operations in the city of Samarra, some 125 km north of Baghdad, security sources told DPA.

The troops had shot dead 10 militants in the al-Tharthar area, western Samarra, adding that six were Arabs. The other four were killed in different parts of the city.

The forces also confiscated a large weapons cache and detained another four militants in the suburbs of Samarra.

In another development, three militants were killed and nine detained in Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, the Iraqi news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) said.

Sources said the militants were trying to plant explosives in the al-Baaj part of the city.

Separately, the head of the Iraqi press syndicate, Shehab al-Tamimi, was severely injured when militants attacked him in his car in central Baghdad, press syndicate sources told DPA.

Militants attempted to kill al-Tamimi and shot him in the chest after his departure from Baghdad’s Waziriya district.

Tamimi, 74, was hospitalised after the attack and he was in critical health. His son, who was reported to be with him in the car, was not wounded.

Tamimi has served as the Iraqi press union chief since 2004 and has written several pieces in local newspapers and is known for editorials critical of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

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