Gunmen ambush Iraqi forces northeast of Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AP) -- U.S. and Iraqi officials says gunmen ambushed a group of policemen and members of a U.S.-allied Sunni group northeast of Baghdad today, killing 22.

The group had been conducting a raid on a Sunni village (Othmaniyah) considered to be an insurgent stronghold. Officials say it appears the gunmen were tipped off and had been waiting for the Iraqi forces to arrive. A police officer says the joint forces were first hit by a roadside bomb as they entered the village, then the firing started.

The U.S. military says 14 national policemen and eight members of the so-called awakening council were killed.

A member of the Diyala provincial council blames al-Qaida in Iraq for the attack. He says the attackers also suffered casualties, but he did not offer a number.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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