4 U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq Bombings
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
BAGHDAD, Sept. 8 -- Four U.S. soldiers were killed Tuesday in two bombings while on patrol in Iraq, in the deadliest day for American troops in two months.
In the first incident, military officials said a soldier was killed when a roadside bomb struck his convoy in southern Baghdad. The U.S. Army did not provide details, but an official from the Iraqi Interior Ministry, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said the patrol was on its way back to its base when it was hit somewhere between Baghdad and Mahmudiyah, a town south of the capital in a region that was once so dangerous that its inhabitants nicknamed it the Triangle of Death.
Later, three soldiers died after being wounded by an improvised bomb while on patrol in northern Iraq. Iraqi security forces also said that a U.S. Army patrol came under fire Tuesday afternoon near the town of Hawijah, southwest of the contested, oil-rich city of Kirkuk. There was no word on casualties.
Northern Iraq remains a dangerous region, home to an insurgency that has proved resilient, even as violence has subsided elsewhere. Bombings, shootings and assassinations are an almost daily occurrence. Also Tuesday, two policemen were killed and three others were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle in Kirkuk. Four other policemen were killed by an improvised explosive device in the town of Tuz, south of the city.
American troops completed a withdrawal from Iraq's urban areas on June 30. Under a bilateral security agreement, all U.S. combat troops must leave Iraq by the end of August 2010 and all American forces should be out by 2012.
Tuesday's attacks were the deadliest for U.S. troops since June 29, when four soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb south of Baghdad.
Violence in Iraq has dropped significantly since the sectarian bloodshed of 2006 and 2007. But August was one of the deadliest months since April, largely because of two huge blasts at the Foreign and Finance ministries that killed at least 100 people and wounded many more.
Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, a spokesman for Baghdad's security command center, said at a news conference Tuesday that 29 police and army officers, who were among those responsible for security at the ministries, were arrested after the bombings on charges of negligence.
Moussawi put the death toll from the attacks at 92, lower than earlier estimates.