From combined dispatches
BAGHDAD — The U.S. military said yesterday it detained six men suspected of shooting down a civilian helicopter carrying 11 civilians — including six Americans — north of Baghdad two days earlier.
An Iraqi civilian told the Americans that he knew where insurgents had taken a blue Kia pickup truck used in the attack and led them to the site.
“At the first house, they captured three men and confiscated bomb-making material. At the second house, the unit detained three more suspects involved in making improvised explosive devices,” the military said.
It did not identify the suspects or where they were captured.
Arrests after attacks are rare because civilians are reluctant to turn in militants for fear cooperative families will suffer retaliation.
Nevertheless, there have been several instances of civilian Iraqis stepping up to fight back since the Jan. 30 elections.
Last month, Baghdad shopkeepers fatally shot three terrorists who had begun shooting at cars.
There also have been several public demonstrations against terrorists and at least one other gunbattle with militants in the town of Wihda, about 25 miles south of Baghdad.
All 11 persons on board the helicopter were killed Thursday, with the Bulgarian pilot who survived the crash being gunned down by the insurgents.
In continuing violence yesterday, insurgents detonated a roadside bomb near an Iraqi army convoy on the outskirts of Baghdad, killing nine soldiers and wounding 20 in one of a series of such attacks across the country, police said.
When the surviving Iraqi soldiers responded with gunfire, they killed a civilian driving a car, police Lt. Ahmed Abud said.
The military also said an American soldier was killed yesterday when his convoy was ripped by a roadside bomb near Haswa, 30 miles south of Baghdad.
The bombing was one of at least three explosions in the Baghdad area.
A car bomb targeting a U.S. patrol detonated on a road leading to the perilous airport highway, killing one Iraqi and wounding seven, hospital officials said.View Entire Story
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