http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&e=2&u=/nm/20040926/ts_nm/iraq_dc U.S. Air Attacks in Falluja Kill 15 in 24 Hours By Fadil al-Badrani FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. aircraft blasted the rebel stronghold of Falluja for a third time in 24 hours in a concerted effort to hit militants loyal to guerrilla chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Washington's number one enemy in Iraq (news - web sites). Saturday night's strike was aimed at about 10 suspected militants meeting in the city center to plan operations, the U.S. military said. Eight people were killed and 17 wounded, Anas Ahmed, a doctor at a nearby hospital, said. The latest in what the military calls "precision strikes" raised the death toll for the series to 15 killed and 30 wounded, among them women and children, doctors said. On Sunday, doctors would not let a Reuters cameraman film the wounded as reporters have been allowed to do after previous strikes on Falluja. Residents would also not allow reporters near the site of the attack. "Multiple secondary explosions following the strike indicate the site was used by terrorists to store explosives and weapons," a military statement said. Falluja, about 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, is home to some of Iraq's most hardened Sunni Muslim militants and has become a focal point of the anti-American insurgency. Zarqawi's group, Tawhid and Jihad, has claimed many of the car bombings and attacks in Iraq over the past year, including a string of kidnappings in which several of the hostages have been beheaded. U.S. forces tried to overrun Falluja earlier this year, but withdrew after weeks of furious fighting. Since then, they say it has become a magnet for foreign militants. "MIRACLES" The U.S. military believes the Jordanian-born Zarqawi, who has a $25 million price on his head, is holed up in Falluja and coordinating activities from there. His group seized two Americans and a Briton from their home in Baghdad 10 days ago, demanding the release of women prisoners from Iraqi jails in return for their lives. No women were freed and the two Americans, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley, were killed, with videos of their bloody executions posted on the Internet. Briton Kenneth Bigley is also threatened with death, although no deadline has been set. A two-man delegation of British Muslims arrived in Baghdad on Saturday to push for his release. They met Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawar on Sunday and are expected to see leading Sunni Muslim clerics as well. "Our religion is one of compassion and love," Musharraf Hussain of the Muslim Council of Britain told reporters. "We believe in the power of prayer turning people's hearts ... miracles do happen," he said after arriving in Baghdad. Yusuf Islam, a British singer and song writer known as Cat Stevens until he became a Muslim, urged the militants to free Bigley in a letter sent to media by the British Embassy. "As a member of the Muslim Council I request you, in the name of Allah, the Rahman (Compassionate), to release the British citizen, Ken Bigley for the good name of our religion and according to the sayings of Allah in the glorious Qur'an," Islam said. SOLDIER JAILED FOR MURDER The U.S. military said a soldier based near Tikrit, in northern Iraq, had been jailed for 25 years for the murder in May this year of a member of the Iraqi National Guard. It said Specialist Federico Merida pleaded guilty to murder and making false statements during his court martial. Merida was also dishonorably discharged and reduced in rank to private. In a separate case last week, the U.S. military said two soldiers in Baghdad had been charged with premeditated murder in the wrongful deaths of three Iraqis, the latest of many charges brought against U.S. soldiers in Iraq. North of Baghdad, the U.S. military arrested a commander of the Iraqi National Guard in Baquba, a hotbed of insurgency. The military said on Sunday Lieutenant-General Talib Al Lahibi was detained on Thursday for associating with known insurgents. In Baghdad, a rocket landed in a busy shopping street in the city center, killing one person and wounding several others.