Itar Tass is reporting Iraqi insurgents downed two US helicopter gunships near the town of Qaim on the Syrian border on Thursday, quoting an Al-Jazeera TV account based on reports from the city. The fate of the crews was unknown. The claim is denied by the US, but Xinhua is also carrying the report. Mafkarat news agency has reported an American General killed in one the helicopters.
Seperately, fourteen US servicemen and dozens of Iraqi insurgents have been killed in five days of fighting in areas close to the Syrian border, says Itar Tass.
Al-Jazeera quoted the chief doctor of Qaim city hospital as saying the fire on residential areas does not allow to rescue people from under the ruined houses. The humanitarian situation is deteriorating, as there are no food, water and medicine supplies.
A roadside bomb hit a U.S. military convoy on a highway to Baghdad Friday reports Reuters. No casualties were immediately reported, but Associated Press Television News footage from the scene showed a Humvee, its hood open, consumed in flames. Heavily armed U.S. soldiers closed off the area. Police 1st Lt. Ali Hussein al-Hamadani said the blast was caused by a roadside bomb. A U.S. military spokesperson in Baghdad said she could not immediately confirm the attack.
Militants assassinated a general and a colonel who were en route to work Thursday, and a car bomb exploded near a busy market and movie theater in eastern Baghdad, part of a wave of attacks that killed at least 24 people, including three U.S. soldiers, and wounded more than 70, according to AP reports.