FALLUJA, Iraq – A U.S. air strike on the rebel-held city of Falluja in
western Iraq killed 11 people and wounded 17 at a wedding party, with women
and children among the casualties, a hospital doctor said Friday.
Rafah al-Hayat said the U.S. raid, the latest of several which the U.S.
military has staged against targets it says are used by foreign militants
in Falluja, occurred at about midnight Thursday.
The U.S. military said the “precision strike” had hit a safe-house being
used by the network of Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi at 1:15 a.m.
“Credible intelligence sources confirmed Zarqawi leaders were meeting at
the safe-house at the time of the strike,” a statement said.
“Intelligence sources confirmed that the safe-house was being used by the
group to meet and plan attacks against Iraqi civilians, Iraqi Security
Forces, and Multi-National Forces.”
It said such strikes had killed several Zarqawi leaders in the past month,
including Mohammed al-Lubnani and Abu Anas al-Shami, described as Zarqawi’s
number two man and spiritual adviser, who were killed in September