BAGHDAD -- Anti-American insurgents fired mortar rounds at a US military camp last night, wounding 35 US soldiers, the US command said.
Six mortar rounds exploded about 6:45 p.m. at Logistical Base Seitz, west of Baghdad, a US military spokesman said in a statement.
The camp is in the so-called Sunni triangle, a stronghold of resistance to the US occupation of Iraq.
"The wounded soldiers were given first aid and have been evacuated from the site for further medical treatment," the statement said. The Pentagon added that the soldiers were from the Army's 541st Maintenance Battalion, based in Fort Riley, Kan., and part of the Third Corps Support Command.
The mortars hit "a living area where they have their sleeping quarters," the spokesman said.
A Pentagon spokesman said that some of the wounded returned to duty shortly after the attack, while others were hospitalized. The spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel James Cassella, said he did not know how many were seriously or lightly wounded. Earlier yesterday, US troops said they destroyed a home in Fallujah, the center of the anti-American insurgency west of Baghdad, where enraged neighbors said a couple were killed and their five children orphaned.
The neighbors said the couple were innocent in an attack on the troops that led them to shell the house.
The 82d Airborne Division said its paratroopers acted after receiving "two rounds of indirect fire" about 9 p.m. Tuesday. "Paratroopers from our task force engaged the point of origin with a grenade launcher and small arms, causing two personnel to flee into a nearby building, which was also engaged and destroyed," division spokeswoman Captain Tammy Galloway said in a statement.
"The building was searched, and no weapons or personnel were found. Upon questioning, civilians in the area reported two dead personnel were taken to a nearby hospital," the statement said.
Civilian deaths in the counterinsurgency campaign have enraged many Iraqis at a time when the US-led coalition is trying to win popular support.
The coalition announced yesterday it was freeing 506 of 12,800 prisoners in a good-will gesture also aimed at encouraging more Iraqis to come forward with intelligence against anti-American guerrillas.
Officials offered rewards for the capture or information confirming the deaths of 30 more wanted Iraqis, putting bounties of $50,000 to $200,000 on their heads. That is in addition to bounties for the 13 remaining fugitives at large from the original 55 most-wanted Iraqis whose pictures appeared on a deck of cards.
A bounty of $10 million is on the head of the most-wanted man since Saddam Hussein's capture, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, one of the ousted dictator's chief lieutenants.
In Fallujah, neighbors said US soldiers were on a routine search for suspects and arms when they were fired on. The paratroopers then fired at the house of Ahmed Hassan Faroud.
News film showed a wall of the house collapsed into a rubble of concrete bricks and two walls splattered with blood that neighbors said belonged to Hassan, 37, and his wife, Suham Omar, 28. They said the couple's five children were in bed in an adjoining room and survived Tuesday night's attack uninjured.