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Al-Qaeda bastion bombed: US military

world Updated: Jan 10, 2008 15:41 IST

Bombers dropped 40,000 pounds (18,000 kilograms) of explosives on an Al-Qaeda bastion on the southern outskirts of Baghdad in a 10-minute airstrike on Thursday, the US military said.

The attack by B-1 bombers and F-16 fighters on Arab Jabour village was part of a nationwide operation against Al-Qaeda, codenamed Phantom Phoenix, launched by US and Iraqi forces on Tuesday.

"Thirty-eight bombs were dropped within the first 10 minutes, with a total tonnage of 40,000 pounds," a US military statement said.

The bombings were carried out as ground troops of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division closed in on the area, it added.

Nine US soldiers have been killed in the first two days of the fresh offensive, including six who died in an explosion as they entered a booby-trapped house in restive Diyala province on Wednesday.