First Published: 2007-04-03

 
Four US troops killed in Iraq attacks
 

Death toll among US soldiers continues to rise despite armed crackdown on insurgents.

 

Middle East Online

By Jennie Matthew – BAGHDAD

US death toll is mounting

Insurgents killed four more US troops in Iraq as warplanes destroyed two bomb factories on Tuesday in a bid to cut insurgent supply lines into Baghdad, where bombings continue to defy an armed crackdown.

One soldier died from a suicide truck bombing in the contested northern oil capital of Kirkuk that targeted a police station where American forces were visiting at the time, and damaged a girls' primary school.

The bomb - hidden under packs of flour in a new tactic designed to lull victims into a false sense of security - killed 13 Iraqis, including eight schoolgirls and a toddler. Another two American soldiers were wounded.

The second soldier died on Monday in a roadside bomb blast alongside his vehicle during combat operations near Baghdad, while a third soldier and a marine were killed in fighting in the western Anbar province on Monday.

The rising body count that shows no sign of relenting four years after the American military invaded Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein is fuelling growing opposition to the war in the United States and calls for troops to come home.

The latest fatalities brought US military losses in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion to 3,254, according to Pentagon figures.

Since the launch of a massive security operation in Baghdad in February, Iraqi and US troops have reduced execution-style killings in the capital, but car bombings carried out by suspected militants remain a major headache.

In a bid to stem the flow of explosives into Baghdad, the military is now focusing on detecting bomb-making facilities largely on the outskirts.

Aircraft on Tuesday destroyed two large buildings which the Americans said were used to manufacture and store explosives in the town of Arab Jubur, south of the capital.

"Ground forces called in for air support when they found large amounts of chemicals and improvised-explosive-device making materials in two buildings," the military said.

In an operation targeting presumed Al-Qaeda fighters near Anbar's former rebel town of Fallujah, a US warplane killed six "terrorists" in an air strike while forces on the ground arrested another seven, the military said.

Another group of Iraqi workers was abducted overnight in the flashpoint province of Diyala, less than 24 hours after the bodies of 21 Shiites snatched in similar circumstances were found.

The nine electrical company employees were kidnapped at gunpoint on their way home from work near Khalis, a Shiite town repeatedly bombed by presumed Sunni extremists in their campaign of sectarian violence.

US President George W. Bush, who has vowed to veto Congressional demands for most troops to withdraw within 12 months, spoke to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on pressing home the security crackdown to the end.

"Both leaders agreed on the importance of the present security plan for Baghdad and other areas of Iraq and agreed that these plans must be carried out until lasting success can be achieved," said a White House spokesman.

Gordon Johndroe also said Maliki had assured Bush he would "press forward" on key legislation such as a reform bill to encourage Sunnis back into mainstream politics and away from fighting.

Other attacks killed three civilians in Baghdad and three policemen in other cities on Tuesday, in a toll considerably less than the daily body count reported by security officials in recent days.

 

Iraq dismisses US call for Iranian-backed militias to 'go home'

Opposition calls on Iraqi Kurd leader to step down

IS ‘executed’ 116 suspected of Syria regime collaboration

Israel arrests 51 Palestinians for ‘terror-related’ crimes

Greening the Camps brings food and hope to refugees

UNICEF says 1,100 children malnourished in Syria’s Ghouta

UN says Yemen children in desperate need of aid

Orthodox Jews block Jerusalem entrance in protest

Six terror suspects arrested in Morocco

EU announces 106 million euros in aid for Sudan

French judges to rule on whether 'Jihad' is acceptable name

Saudi Aramco chief confirms IPO despite doubts

Lack of accountability hinders governing in Morocco, analysts say

Sudan editor convicted after Bashirs accused of graft

Russia’s Lavrov urges Iraq-Kurd dialogue

Kurds to arrest 11 Iraqis in response to similar Baghdad move

Car bomb attack kills 9 in south Yemen military base

Rouhani boasts about Iran’s greatness in region

Iraq unrest highlights long-standing political divisions

Bahrain temporarily frees female activist

Egypt court sentences 11 people to death for 'terrorism'

Israel police arrest 15 over anti Jewish-Arab dating campaign

Tillerson woos Gulf allies to curb Iran influence

Abadi, Sadr meet in Jordan

No clear US strategy in Syria after Raqqa liberation

Tillerson pushes to undercut Iran at landmark Saudi, Iraq meeting

Gulf share values plummet

US-backed forces capture key Syria oil field

More than half of Austrians vote for anti-immigration party

Washington sees potential Hezbollah threat in the US

UN ends Libya talks with no progress made

Cairo killing sparks security concerns among Copts

Iraq PM arrives in Saudi to upgrade ties

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike