U.S. military forces have been carrying out targeted attacks in Fallujah, west of Baghdad, as part of a continuing effort to wipe out a terrorist group believed responsible for numerous car bombings and kidnappings. At least seven people were killed, and more than a dozen others wounded. In the meantime, a wave of kidnappings in Iraq continues. Using warplanes, tanks and artillery, the American strike targeted what was called a "known terrorist" meeting site being used by loyalists to wanted militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
U.S. military officials said the terrorists were using the site in Fallujah to plan additional attacks against Iraqi citizens and coalition forces.
During the past few weeks, several military strikes have targeted locations in Fallujah believed to be used by the terrorist group, which has claimed responsibility for numerous car bombings, kidnappings, beheadings and other assaults aimed at destabilizing the interim Iraqi government.
Meanwhile, four U.S. Marines were reported killed Friday in three separate incidents in the Al-Anbar province, which includes Fallujah. Military officials said the four were assigned to the First Marine Expeditionary Force, and were killed while conducting security and stability operations.
In Baghdad, a van carrying new Iraqi national guard recruits was attacked, and as many as six men were killed. Several others were wounded. The men had just signed up to join the national guard when the attack occurred.
A wave of kidnappings continued in two separate incidents in and near Baghdad. A total of six Egyptians and four Iraqis working for an Egyptian-owned mobile phone company were abducted at gunpoint Wednesday and Thursday.
Two American men abducted along with a British citizen were beheaded Monday and Tuesday.