10 U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq

By Nancy Trejos
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 7, 2006

BAGHDAD, Dec. 6 -- Ten American troops died in Iraq on Wednesday, the U.S. military reported, matching the highest number of U.S. service members killed on a single day in the past year. It was also a deadly day for Iraqi civilians, with at least 40 killed in car bombings and mortar attacks across the capital.

The U.S. troops died in four incidents, a military spokesman, Lt. Col. Christopher C. Garver, said Wednesday night. He declined to provide details about how or where they were killed because family members were still being notified.

"It's kind of a confluence of events," he said. "They are not all linked together."

The deaths bring the total number of U.S. service members killed in Iraq so far this month to 29, according to Pentagon reports and the Web site iCasualties.org, which tracks Iraq war fatalities. Most of the deaths identified were caused by hostile fire, including roadside bombs and grenades. Six of the deaths resulted from accidents, including the crash of a Marine CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter Sunday in Iraq's western Anbar province.

The U.S. military has said it is focusing its efforts on Baghdad, where sectarian warfare between Sunni Arabs and Shiite Muslims has become a top concern. U.S. troops continue to clash daily with suspected insurgents in Anbar province and have also been assisting the Iraqi army in conducting operations.

"We are out there working, and it puts us at risk," Garver said.

U.S. air and ground forces conducted a raid Wednesday in search of foreign fighters in Khanaqin, near the Iranian border, killing one suspected insurgent, the U.S. military said. A U.S. aircraft received small-arms fire as it left the site. U.S. forces shot back, destroying a vehicle and killing the armed suspect, the military said.

The U.S. military also announced that a soldier was killed Sunday during combat operations. No other details were released.

At Camp Cropper near Baghdad, a detainee died in U.S. military custody on Saturday, the military said in a statement. It said the unidentified detainee had suffered two heart attacks.

A car bomb explosion Wednesday afternoon in Sadr City, a teeming Shiite slum, killed three civilians and wounded eight, according to the U.S. military. Also in Sadr City, a suicide bomber in a taxi detonated explosives in a crowded marketplace, killing 13 people and injuring 25, according to an Interior Ministry source.

The attacks appeared to be the first in Sadr City since multiple car bombings and mortar shells killed more than 200 people there on Nov. 23, sparking a wave of tit-for-tat killings.

In Baghdad, a roadside bomb detonated near the old Defense Ministry building in the Rusafa neighborhood, killing 15 people and wounding 25, the U.S. military said. Police said they found 48 bodies in different parts of the capital, news services reported.

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