Special report: Tension escalates in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. troops have killed five suspected insurgents and detained 17 others during operations across Iraq, the U.S. military said on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, U.S. troops fought insurgents in the Khan Bani Saad area near Baquba, 65 km northeast of Baghdad, killing two of them and detaining five others, a U.S. military statement said.
The troops originally targeted "an individual who was reportedly a significant explosively formed penetrator facilitator and trainer within Special Group criminal elements," the statement said.
According to the military, Special Groups are Shiite militia extremists funded, trained and armed by external sources specifically by Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force operatives.
The U.S. forces frequently accuse Iran of arming and training Iraqi militias to stir up chaos in the war-torn country, a charge Tehran vehemently denies.
Separately, the U.S. forces detained 12 suspected militants during operations targeted al-Qaida network in Iraq in central and northern Iraq, another statement said.
On Tuesday, U.S. helicopters killed three gunmen after they attacked a U.S. military convoy in southeast of Baghdad, the military said in a statement.
It said the gunmen attacked the U.S. convoy from a house on a road near the Tigris River, prompting the troops to call in Apache helicopters which attacked the house with 30mm cannon and Hellfire missiles.