Shift of Rebuilding Funds to Security Is Approved
American and Iraqi forces clashed with insurgents here Wednesday as they arrested a suspect, and violence around Iraq continued today with a U.S. airstrike on the city of Fallouja and reports of a car bombing wounding nine people west of the capital.
Amid the continuing violence, the U.S. Congress on Wednesday approved the shift of $3.5 billion in reconstruction funds to improve security and create jobs.
One confrontation took place along Baghdad’s Haifa Street as Iraqi security forces backed by U.S. troops cornered the suspect, Kadhim Dafan, in a closet, an Iraqi national guard commander said.
Dafan is believed to be responsible for car bombings and other attacks in the area, Col. Mohammed Abdullah said.
No coalition forces were reported killed in the operation. But the Pentagon said two Americans and a Ukrainian died in separate incidents.
Marine Pfc. Kenneth L. Sickels, 20, of Apple Valley, Calif., died Monday in a noncombat incident in Al Anbar province, the military said.
Army Spc. Gregory A. Cox, 21, of Carmichaels, Pa., died Monday when his military vehicle was unintentionally run off the road by a civilian vehicle, causing it to roll over, the military said.
A Ukrainian officer, part of a contingent deployed in Wasit province southeast of Baghdad, died after a car accident, the military reported.
In Fallouja, U.S. forces said today they attacked a suspected safe house used by a terrorist group. Hospital officials said at least four Iraqis were killed and eight wounded. A military statement said the militants’ placement of weapons caches in civilian sites was putting innocent people at risk.
Later this morning, witnesses said, a car bomb exploded outside a police station in the Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad. Police said at least nine people were wounded and witnesses reported hearing gunfire after the blast.
In Washington, Congress agreed to a Sept. 13 White House request to transfer the reconstruction money, part of an $18.4-billion package approved in November.