Tons of Bombs Dropped in Latest U.S. Offensive in Iraq

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ZAMBARANIYAH, Iraq (AP) - A large-scale U.S. offensive continues in Iraq.

U.S. bombers and jet fighters have unleashed 40,000 pounds of explosives within 10 minutes on the southern outskirts of Baghdad, targeting what the military calls safe havens for al-Qaida in Iraq.

The attack is part of Operation Phantom Phoenix, a campaign against al-Qaida in Iraq that was launched Tuesday.

The military says two B-1 bombers and four F-16 fighters dropped the bombs on 40 targets in Arab Jabour in 10 strikes.

Al-Qaida fighters are believed to control Arab Jabour, a Sunni district
scarred by daily violence.

A military spokeswoman says the attack is one of the largest airstrikes since the war started in March 2003.

An Iraqi army officer says the air raid was followed by a ground attack that led to 12 arrests and the discovery of two houses used to torture kidnap victims.