Iraq: Al-Qaida suspects assault police checkpoints, killing three

Sixty suspected al-Qaida in Iraq fighters hit national police facilities in a coordinated attacks in Samarra, sparking two hours of fighting that saw three people killed and more than a dozen insurgents captured, police said Friday. The masked attackers drove into the city at dusk Thursday in about 20 vehicles, including pickups with machine-guns, then split into small groups and assaulted four police checkpoints and a headquarters building, a Samarra police official said. One policeman and two civilians - a woman and an 11-year-old girl - were killed in the fighting in the city 95 kilometers north of Baghdad, and nine others were injured including a police commando and three children. There were no details on insurgent casualties, but police arrested 14 suspects, the spokesman said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.