Dozens killed in Iraq airstrikes
Iraqi doctor reports civilian deaths and injuries
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military said Monday that coalition forces launched a series of airstrikes Sunday in and around Ramadi, killing "an estimated 70 terrorists."
But an Iraqi doctor who reported 20 people killed -- including six children -- and 25 wounded said all those were civilians.
Military officials said they had no reports of civilians killed. And Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, director of the Combined Press Information Center, said, "We do careful targeting to insure minimum civilian casualties in the areas that the insurgents are operating."
An official with the Iraqi Ministry of Health said one child was killed and two women were wounded in the airstrikes.
In one operation Sunday, as many as 20 insurgents were killed in a strike by a precision-guided bomb east of Ramadi after the crew of an F-15 warplane observed them planting an improvised explosive device at the same site where an IED explosion Saturday killed five U.S. and two Iraqi soldiers, the statement said.
In the Abu Faraj region, north of Ramadi, about 50 insurgents were killed in operations surrounding a suspected insurgent safe house, the military said.
The 2nd Marine Division statement said crews in a Huey and a Cobra helicopter were observing a gathering at the suspected safe house when insurgents fired small arms at the Cobra helicopter.
The Cobra returned fire, killing at least 10 insurgents.
At the same site minutes later, a team of F/A-18s observed suspected insurgents loading vehicles with weapons and launched a precision-guided bomb, killing as many as 40 insurgents.
Up to three insurgents were also killed in a clash with coalition forces at the government center in Ramadi, the statement said.
Dr. Shiya Fahdawi of Al-Ramadi hospital told CNN that all 20 dead, including six children, and 25 wounded he has seen at the hospital "were not terrorists -- they were only a bunch of civilians whose curiosity prompted them to gather around a destroyed Humvee."
The attacks came as election workers in Iraq counted millions of paper ballots cast in Saturday's constitutional referendum. Partial results point to a clear win for the new constitution. (Full story)
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