Suicide bomber kills 14 Iraqi soldiers

Updated: 2007-06-10 08:34

A roadside bomb that apparently targeted a police patrol in eastern Baghdad instead struck a minibus, killing at least five people.

In Baqouba, the provincial capital of Diyala, two suicide bombers on foot blew themselves up at a police checkpoint, killing one policeman.

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At least 767 Iraqi security personnel have been killed since a US-Iraqi security crackdown began on Feb. 14. During the same length of time preceding the operation, at least 593 Iraqi security personnel were killed, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press. The actual number in both cases is likely higher as many killings go unreported.

An American soldier was killed Saturday by small-arms fire in Diyala province, north of Baghdad, the military said. The death raised to at least 3,502 members of the US military who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Diyala, a hotbed of the Sunni insurgency, has become increasingly dangerous since the beginning of the Baghdad security operation nearly four months ago. Militants have fled the capital to avoid capture and forced the US military to dispatch about 3,000 more American forces to Diyala from already overtaxed reinforcements arriving in Baghdad.

In Baghdad, sporadic clashes erupted for nearly two hours in Amil, a dangerous neighborhood that has divided into a predominantly Sunni western half and an eastern side controlled by Shiite militiamen.

The fighting began when Iraqi army patrols came under attack in the predominantly Sunni neighborhood and returned fire, an army official said, declining to be identified because he did not have the clearance to speak to the media.

The official said four civilians were wounded and the situation was brought under control with help from US forces. The army official said the clashes occurred on the Shiite side.

A total of 73 people were killed or found dead across Iraq on Saturday, 24 of them bodies dumped in Baghdad. Most of those victims were killed with a shot to the back of the head and showed signs of torture.


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