Four American soldiers killed in Baghdad suicide bomb attack
Updated: 2005-11-08 08:50
A suicide bomber blew up his vehicle at a checkpoint south of Baghdad and
killed four American soldiers Monday, the military said. The U.S. command also
announced five soldiers from an elite unit were charged with kicking and
punching Iraqi detainees.
The suicide attack came as U.S. and Iraqi troops battled al-Qaida-led
militants for a third day in Husaybah, a town on the Syrian border that the
military describes as a major entry point for foreign fighters. One Marine has
died there, the U.S. command said Monday.
Al-Qaida in Iraq warned the Iraqi government to halt the offensive in
Husaybah within 24 hours or see "the earth ... shake beneath their feet."
"Let them know that the price will be very heavy," said an Internet statement
purportedly issued by al-Qaida, which has been blamed for some of Iraq's worst
terror bombings. The warning's authenticity could not be confirmed.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced a troop rotation for Iraq that will number
at least 92,000 soldiers through 2008, although officials said it likely will be
The four soldiers who died in the suicide attack were assigned to the Army's
Task Force Baghdad, the U.S. command said, offering no further details. Earlier
Monday, the military said a U.S. soldier died Sunday in a roadside bombing near
The deaths brought to at least 2,051 the
number of U.S. military personnel who have died since the Iraq war started in
2003, according to an Associated Press count. At least 24 have died this month ¡ª
most in roadside bombings.
In this picture released by the US Forces,
Monday, Nov. 7, 2005, a tank and vehicles of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines
operate as security while Marines and Iraqi Army soldiers clear houses
during Operation Steel Curtain, in Husaybah, Iraq.
The U.S. military said five soldiers from the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment
were charged Saturday with assault, maltreatment and dereliction of duty during
a Sept. 7 incident "in which three detainees were allegedly punched and kicked
while awaiting movement to a detention facility." All five were reassigned to
administrative duties, the statement said.
The Army said the alleged incident occurred in Baghdad and that the
detainees, all men, suffered bruises "caused by striking with a closed and open
hand, kicking, and hitting with an object described as a broomstick."
Allegations of prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison
in Baghdad gained international notoriety in 2004. Nine Army reservists were
convicted in that scandal.