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Iraq: Fuel Truck Explodes In Baghdad, As U.S. Military Continues Operation In Samarra

Baghdad, 17 December 2003 (RFE/RL) -- A fuel truck blew up early this morning in Baghdad, causing a fiery explosion that engulfed other cars, killing at least 12 people and wounding 15 others. The explosion occurred in the residential Bayya'a neighborhood of the Iraqi capital. The exact cause of the blast is being investigated, with some police saying a roadside bomb detonated next to the truck as it passed by while others say the truck itself was loaded with explosives.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says it has launched a new operation targeting insurgents in the town of Samarra, north of Baghdad.

The offensive, titled Operation Ivy Blizzard, comes after U.S. forces yesterday said they had arrested more than 70 suspected insurgents near Samarra. Officials said weapons and ammunition were also seized.

The U.S. military says it killed 11 insurgents in Samarra in fighting on 15 December.