Airstrike in Mosul Kills Insurgents

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- U.S. troops and warplanes killed at least 25 insurgents as they attacked an American outpost in the northern city of Mosul with a car bomb and explosives, the U.S. military said Thursday. One U.S. soldier died in hospital after the firefight.

The clash on Wednesday occurred after rebels detonated a car bomb near a U.S. outpost in the restive city. As reinforcements arrived, they came under fire by guerrillas using automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, U.S. Staff Sergeant Don Dees said.

The Americans then called in an airstrike by warplanes, which attacked some 50 insurgents at the Yarmouk traffic circle, Dees said.

Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, has become a hotbed of insurgent activity in the past several months. Fourteen U.S. soldiers died Dec. 21, when a suicide bomber walked into a mess tent in Mosul packed with soldiers. In all, 22 people were killed and dozens wounded. The radical Ansar al-Sunnah Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

The latest clash in Mosul came as U.S. troops launched a new offensive in an area south of the capital dubbed the "triangle of death," in an apparent effort to secure the region ahead of crucial parliamentary elections on Jan. 30. U.S. and Iraqi forces have come under repeated attacks by car bombs, rockets, and small arms fire in the area.

The new offensive follows a weeklong campaign in November and early December to root out insurgents in the same region.

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