Vol. 4 Num 327 Fri. April 30, 2004  
Front Page

10 GIs killed in restive Iraq

Ten US soldiers were killed yesterday in attacks around Baghdad, eight of them when a car bomb exploded in a suburb south of the capital.

The latest fatalities brought to 534 the number of US soldiers killed in action since US-led forces invaded Iraq 13 months ago.

The car bomb went off just south of Baghdad near Mahmudia at about 11:30am, the US military said in a statement.

"Initial reports indicate that eight US soldiers were killed and four were wounded," it said.

The soldiers were all from the 1st Armored Division and the wounded were flown to a Baghdad military hospital by helicopter, it added.

Shortly before dawn, a US soldier was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in eastern Baghdad, a separate statement said.

At around 10am, a roadside bomb killed a US soldier and wounded another in the town of Baquba, 40 miles north of Baghdad. Iraqi police said an Iraqi civilian was also killed in the attack.

With just weeks to go before the United States hands over sovereignty to Iraqis on June 30, US-led forces face a growing insurgency.

New polls showed Iraqi civilian deaths combined with heavy US losses this month have produced slipping support for President George W Bush's war plan in both Iraq and among the Americans who vote on his re-election in November.

The US yesterday rushed tanks to Iraq, including the besieged city of Falluja, where sporadic clashes followed Bush's promise to do whatever is needed to retake the town.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan appealed to Bush to show restraint, saying bloodshed could turn Iraqis against the occupying forces just as the U.N. is working with Washington to restore an Iraqi government on June 30.

"The more the occupation is seen as taking steps that harm the civilians and the population, the greater the ranks of the resistance grows," Annan told a news conference in New York.

A Los Angeles Times reporter, quoted by CNN, said four former Iraqi army generals had agreed to try to bring control to Falluja, allowing US Marines to withdraw. But the agreement is tentative and it is not clear if the Iraqi generals will be able to persuade insurgents to disarm.

In scattered violence yesterday, a foreign civilian was killed in a drive-by shooting near oil company offices in the southern city of Basra. A senior official in charge of protecting vital northern oilfields was wounded in Kirkuk.

A bomb blasted a US patrol in Baquba, north of Baghdad, killing an Iraqi civilian and wounding two soldiers, police said. Mortar rounds struck a US base near Najaf, a British base in Basra and a Japanese compound at Samawa.