Iraqi Women Targeted by Campaign of Violence

Last month gunmen killed a schoolteacher on her way to class in the well-to-do Baghdad neighborhood of Mansour. And earlier this year several militants stormed a primary school in the Sadiya neighborhood of south Baghdad and killed the headmistress in front of her students.

Elsewhere in Iraq today, U.S. forces killed 25 suspected insurgents in operations targeting al Qaeda near Baghdad, the U.S. military said. It was the latest in a series of operations mounted against al Qaeda in Iraq, which U.S. commanders say has been seriously weakened since the launch of a new U.S. counterinsurgency strategy to deny the militants safe haven in provinces around Baghdad.

The suspected al Qaeda insurgents were killed during operations west of Tarmiya near Baghdad, according to a U.S. military statement. The statement said U.S. forces called in aircraft to attack armed men seen acting with "hostile intent" in the area of the operation. One gunman was killed.

Ground forces then moved further into the area, where they came under fire. Troops again called in aircraft, killing 24 suspected insurgents, the statement said, adding that a large cache of weapons was found. U.S. commanders say al Qaeda in Iraq is resilient despite the recent military gains against the group.

Also in Iraq, north of the capital in Kirkuk, a car bomb targeting the convoy of a police colonel killed six people, including one police officer, according to police. Seventeen people, including children on their way to school, were wounded, police say. The wounded were rushed to a nearby hospital.

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