From the AP:
U.S. troops killed five insurgents and destroyed a bomb-making factory Wednesday north of Baghdad, and dozens more were detained after fierce clashes in a Sunni-dominated province west of the capital.
Scattered violence killed at least nine people, while a claim by the U.S. military that insurgents used children in a weekend suicide attack raised concerns about new tactics being adopted by insurgents as a security crackdown aimed at stopping sectarian violence enters its sixth week.
Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, meanwhile, renewed calls for talks to be opened with insurgents in an attempt to bring peace, but he excluded al-Qaida in Iraq.
"I do believe that there is no way but to talk to everybody," he told the British Broadcasting Corp.
Apart from al-Qaida, which he said was "not very much willing in fact to talk to anybody," all parties "should be invited, should be called to sit down around the table to discuss their fears, their reservations."
Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, deputy director for regional operations on the Joint Staff, said Tuesday that a vehicle used in the attack was waved through a U.S. military checkpoint because two children were visible in the back seat. He said this was the first reported use of children in a suicide car bombing in Baghdad.
"Children in the back seat lowered suspicion, (so) we let it move through, they parked the vehicle, the adults run out and detonate it with the children in the back," Barbero told reporters in Washington. "The brutality and ruthless nature of this enemy hasn't changed."
I should say cowards! Blowing it up with children in the vehicle as they ran away?
U.S. forces killed five suspected insurgents, detained three others and used an airstrike to destroy a bomb-making factory that contained large-caliber ammunition and several 50-gallon barrels of explosive material near Taji, an air base 12 miles north of Baghdad, the military said in a statement. No American troops or civilians were injured during the operation, it added.
A Sadrist lawmaker, Bahaa al-Araji, also said U.S. troops raided his office Wednesday, seizing the memory card from his computer along with a gun and a rifle. The U.S. military had no immediate comment.
We are making progress, but I know Sad'r told his militia to pull back and hide their arms until this is over. He is probably watching Congress and figures we will be leaving so he can just wait; thanks hezbocrats!