US-led coalition forces killed 20 insurgents, including two women, Friday in an attack targeting al-Qaida in Iraq militants, the US command said. The ground forces were searching buildings in an area around Thar Thar Lake in Salahuddin province northwest of Baghdad when they returned machine gun fire they had received from one of them, killing two insurgents, the military said. Under continuing fire, the troops called in air support, which opened fire, killing 18 insurgents, including two women, the command said in a brief statement. The military declined to specify which branch of the coalition was involved, but the US provides most of the air support in most of the country. "Al-Qaida in Iraq has both men and women supporting and facilitating their operations unfortunately," it said.