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Iraq: U.S. Military Says It Kills 27 After Being Attacked

Baghdad, 13 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The United States military says U.S. troops killed 27 people in Iraq after coming under attack today in Balad, northeast of Baghdad. A statement by U.S. Central Command said an "organized group of attackers" had fired rocket-propelled grenades at a 4th Infantry Division tank patrol.

The statement said the tanks returned fire, killing four attackers and forcing the others to flee. It said tanks and other military vehicles, backed by Apache helicopters, pursued the remaining attackers, killing another 23.

The incident occurred as the U.S. military continues "Operation Peninsula Strike," a search north of Baghdad for supporters of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.