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The Jehoshua Novels


Four US soldiers killed in Iraq in 24 hours

BAGHDAD, Aug 3 (AFP) – Another US marine died of wounds sustained in action in western Iraq Monday, the US military said Tuesday, bringing the number of US soldiers killed in the past 24 hours to four.

“An additional marine assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary force died of wounds received in action August 2 in the Al-Anbar province while conducting security and stability operations. This brings the total to two,” a US military statement said without elaborating.

An earlier statement said two soldiers were killed and two wounded after they were hit by a roadside bomb in the capital at about 11:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Monday.

Al-Anbar province includes the flashpoint Sunni Muslim cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, as well as the troubled Syrian border region.

Marine posts in Fallujah, 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Baghdad, are frequently attacked by insurgents with small arms, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

The latest casualties bring to 681 the number of US troops killed in Iraq since last year’s invasion, according to a Pentagon tally.

1 comment to Four US soldiers killed in Iraq in 24 hours

  • Anonymous

    alertnet

    WRAPUP 3-Insurgents in Iraq kill 7 Iraqis, 4 U.S. troops  

    ——————————————————————————–

    (Adds quotes from PM Allawi; Pakistan not sending troops)

    By Dean Yates

    BAGHDAD, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Insurgents launched a wave of attacks in Iraq, killing six Iraqi national guardsmen in a suicide car bombing and four U.S. soldiers in separate incidents in Baghdad and the volatile west of the country.

    A roadside bomb on Tuesday also killed a local police chief in the capital, just hours before interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi returned from a 10-day foreign trip during which he tried to win neighbouring countries’ support in stabilising Iraq.

    The suicide car bomb blast at a checkpoint outside the town of Baquba wounded six other Iraqi guardsmen, said National Guard Lieutenant Mohamed al-Dulaimi at the scene.

    Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, has been the scene of numerous insurgent strikes in recent months, including a suicide car bomb last week that killed 70 people, many of them young men lining up to join the police force.

    The U.S. military said two American soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb blast overnight on Baghdad’s western outskirts.

    And two U.S. marines were killed in action in the violent Anbar province in the country’s west.

    The four deaths raise to 681 the number of American troops killed in action since the war to oust Saddam Hussein.

    Besides attacking U.S. soldiers, insurgents often target Iraq’s fledgling security forces, accusing them of collaborating with some 160,000 foreign troops in the country.

    Early on Tuesday, a roadside bomb in Baghdad’s upscale Mansour district killed the head of a local police station and wounded three of his bodyguards, police said.

    Insurgents have assassinated a number of senior officials as part of efforts to destabilise Allawi’s 36-day-old government.

    REGIONAL SUPPORT

    During his regional tour, Allawi focused on tightening borders to stop foreign fighters entering Iraq and on drumming up support for more troops to help quell the 15-month insurgency.

    He called the trip a success and said he hoped countries including Bahrain and Pakistan might soon send forces, although Pakistan’s information minister said no such move was likely.

    “We are not sending troops,” said Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the government’s chief spokesman. “Other countries are withdrawing troops, so how can we send them?”

    One of Allawi’s most pressing security challenges is a spiralling hostage crisis, which has forced the Philippines to withdraw troops and prompted at least two foreign firms to pull out of Iraq after their employees were threatened with death.

    Talks to free seven foreign truck drivers threatened with execution have stalled since Monday, mediators said. The three Indians, three Kenyans and an Egyptian were seized last month.

    A tribal sheik trying to win their release said on Tuesday he was waiting to hear from the kidnappers, who have demanded their Kuwaiti employer leave Iraq and compensate families who suffered in U.S. air strikes on the rebellious city of Falluja.

    “Negotiations are still stopped at the moment. I have no idea on the fate of the hostages,” Hisham al-Dulaymi said.

    TURKS TO PULL OUT

    There has been a surge in kidnappings since Manila pulled its troops out last month to save the life of a Filipino driver.

    Some of the kidnappings have been carried out by groups linked to al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has claimed responsibility for some of the biggest suicide attacks in Iraq and the killing of several foreign hostages.

    Islamist websites showed militants loyal to Zarqawi shooting dead a Turkish captive. In response to the killing and the kidnappings of Turkish drivers, a Turkish truckers’ group said it would stop transporting goods to U.S. forces.

    But other groups said they would not follow suit, saying trucking goods into Iraq was keeping Turkish families alive.

    “It is not possible for us to give up transporting goods to Iraq unless a war broke out between Turkey and Iraq,” said Saffet Ulusoy, head of one of Turkey’s main haulier groups.

    “This is a route on which 50,000 Turkish families depend.”

    Al Jazeera television said on Monday a Somali held by militants linked to Zarqawi would be freed after his Kuwaiti employer agreed to halt operations in Iraq. However, there has been no word on his fate since.

    Scores of hostages from two dozen countries have been seized in the last four months. Most have been freed but several have been executed — at least four by beheading.

    Even as insurgent attacks continue apace, Iraq’s deputy prime minister, Barham Salih, said a law to grant amnesty to guerrillas not directly involved in killings had been finalised.

    “The law is complete,” he told reporters at the news conference with Allawi. “The cabinet will approve it in a few days and it will be applied on Iraqis who did not take part directly in the killings.”

    (Additional reporting by Matthew Green, Mariam Karouny and Luke Baker in Baghdad, and Faris Mehdawi in Baquba)

    ((Editing by Hugh Pain))

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