Vol. 5 Num 58 Sat. July 24, 2004  
Front Page

2 US troops, 9 Iraqis killed in violence
Iraqi gen assassinated in Mosul

Two American soldiers were killed and one wounded when their convoy hit a roadside bomb outside the rebel city of Samarra while nine Iraqis were killed when a van hit US military tank in Baghdad, US military said yesterday.

"One soldier died in the attack, and the second died later of wounds from the attack," it said in a statement.

A vehicle was also damaged in the blast, which occurred at about 6:30 pm (1430 GMT) on Thursday, according to the military, which added that the injured soldier's condition was stable.

The latest casualties brings to 664 the number of US troops killed in action in Iraq since the start of the US-led war in March 2003, based on Pentagon figures.

Samarra, 125km north of Baghdad, has been the scene of sporadic deadly clashes since a powerful suicide car bomb attack on July 8 on the city's Iraqi National Guard headquarters killed five US soldiers and four Iraqi guardsmen.

Nine Iraqis were killed and 10 injured when a van they were travelling in on Thursday night north of Baghdad hit a US tank, the military said yesterday.

A military spokesman said the van was carrying at least 19 people and that the accident happened at about 10:00 pm (local time) near Taji, 27km north of the capital.

"This is all we know for the time being and we are investigating the incident," he said.

Gunmen assassinated a senior member of Iraq's fledgling armed forces as he traveled to Friday prayers in the northern city of Mosul, police said.

Brigadier General Salim Blaish and one of his neighbours who was travelling with him were killed by gunmen in a drive-by shooting.

Eight Iraqis were wounded, including a little girl who lost a leg, when a bus they were travelling in hit a roadside bomb yesterday in the northern part of Baghdad, police and hospital sources said.

"We have received eight injured, including an eight-year-old girl, whom we had to amputate her leg below the knee," said Doctor Ilham Ilah at a hospital in Khadimiya, north of the city.

A bus carrying 20 passengers ignored orders from police not to enter an area that was being cordoned off for a suspected roadside bomb, according to police and witnesses.

Meanwhile, the US military carried out an airstrike yesterday against a suspected hideout of alleged Al-Qaeda operative Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi in the flashpoint town of Fallujah, said the military, without indicating if there were casualties.

The military said it carried out the attack at 6:33 am local time on 10-12 suspects who were in the courtyard of a house in the southwest part of Fallujah, 50 kilometers west of Baghdad.

"The anti-Iraqi forces were struck while in the courtyard of a house; the house was left intact," said the statement.

A hospital in Fallujah said it received five injured, including two children, after the attack.