Gunmen killed at least 24 police officers, soldiers and government workers in Iraq on Monday, and an Iraqi general said about 50 suspected insurgents were captured in the first days of a new security operation in Baghdad.
The latest bloodshed occurred in a series of small-scale ambushes and shootings. The deadliest attack was in the western Baghdad district of Khadra, where eight policemen died in a gun battle with insurgents, police said. It was unclear if the insurgents suffered casualties.
The Iraqi general, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said a sweep, dubbed Operation Thunder, began last week on the west side of the Tigris River, which divides the city.
He said about 50 suspected insurgents, including two Syrians, were captured in the opening days of the operation, which will be expanded over the next few days.
In Rawah, 175 miles northwest of Baghdad, a car bomb targeted U.S. and Iraqi troops, witnesses reported. At least one person, believed to have been a civilian, was killed, the witnesses said.
Gunmen also killed at least five other police officers, including a colonel, in attacks around the capital, police and hospital officials said. Three civilian government employees were killed in separate ambushes in Baghdad, police reported.
A policeman died in a shootout between insurgents and security forces in Taji, a town just north of Baghdad, police said. And in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, gunmen killed a police colonel, an Interior Ministry official and three Iraqi soldiers in a series of attacks.
In the north, gunmen killed two Iraqi soldiers in Mosul; Abdul-Ghani Naimi, whose brother is a member of the Iraqi parliament, also was slain.
Also Monday, the military said a U.S. Marine died in a non-hostile incident on Sunday at a U.S. base in Ramadi.