Rockets kill five at workers' housing in Iraq
Round strike near Baghdad's airport; rockets land in Green Zone
updated 3:03 p.m. ET Feb. 18, 2008
BAGHDAD - Rockets slammed into an Iraqi housing complex near the Baghdad international airport and a nearby U.S. military base on Monday, killing at least five people and wounding 16, including two U.S. soldiers, officials said.
American troops arrested six Iraqis in the vicinity of the apparent launching sites, and there was strong evidence the suspects were involved, a military official said.
The brazen attack followed a weekend in which U.S. and Iraqi officials touted the security gains of a year-old operation in Baghdad that included an influx of some 30,000 extra American troops. Rocket and mortar attacks were once a daily occurrence but have tapered off with a general decline in violence in the capital.
Twelve 107 mm rockets fell in and around the airport and the nearby Camp Victory, the main U.S. military base on the western outskirts of Baghdad, the U.S. military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information has not been officially released.
He said Camp Victory was hit and two soldiers suffered light injuries but the bulk of the casualties were in a housing complex for airport employees, about a half a mile from the airport.
Five Iraqis were killed and 14 wounded, including five children, one baby, one adult and a teenager who were taken to a nearby U.S. medical facility to be treated, the official said.
The U.S. military did not respond with fire but sent a team in the direction of the launching sites, arresting six people in the area, the official said.
Residents in the housing complex said it includes 250-300 trailers primarily occupied by airport employees. They said two trailers were destroyed in the attack.
"One of these two families lost four of its sons, three of them were buried under the debris," one resident said, adding those killed were between 10 to 20 years old.
Iraqi police earlier reported that six to 13 rockets also struck the U.S.-protected Green Zone on Monday afternoon, but the U.S. military official denied that report.