US chopper fire kills 7 Iraqis preparing to attack military

Associated Press
Tikrit, November 14

A US Apache helicopter killed seven Iraqis, believed to be followers of Saddam Hussein, who were preparing to launch a rocket attack on an American military base, an official said on Friday.

US soldiers later found about 600 rockets and missiles at the insurgents' area.

One other Iraqi was wounded and captured while another escaped after being fired on by the Apache late on Thursday in an encampment with bunkers about 30 km north of Tikrit, spokeswoman of the 4th Infantry Division, Major Josslyn Aberle said.

US soldiers later discovered missiles and rockets in two bunkers and on a flatbed truck, one of three vehicles destroyed by the Apache fire, Aberle said.

The Iraqis were setting up a rocket to be fired toward the US forward operating base called Speicher, about 11 km to the north, when they were spotted by the Apache, which was on a reconnaissance mission, Aberle said.