Iraq suicide bomb kills 4 US soldiers

November 9th, 2005  
Team Infidel

Topic: Iraq suicide bomb kills 4 US soldiers

by Carlos Hamann

BAGHDAD, Nov 8 (AFP) - US and Iraqi forces pressed on with their
house-to-house search for Al-Qaeda fighters near the border with Syria
Tuesday as they probed a suicide car bomb in a restive Baghdad neighborhood
that killed four US soldiers.

The US soldiers were killed "when a suicide car bomber attacked their
checkpoint along a road south of Baghdad," said a brief military statement
late Monday.

Most US deaths in Iraq are caused by roadside bombs, and suicide car bomb
attacks have become increasingly rare, largely because of effective US
counter measures.

The deaths bring to at least 2,056 the number of US military personnel who
have died in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion, according to an AFP tally
based on the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, an independent group that
follows US casualties in Iraq.

Also late Monday the military announced that five US soldiers from an elite
Ranger unit were accused of punching and kicking Iraqi detainees.

"The allegations stem from an incident on September 7 in which three
detainees were allegedly punched and kicked by the soldiers as they were
awaiting movement to a detention facility," the military said, without
specifying where the alleged abuse took place.

Last year the US military was rocked by a massive scandal over detainee
abuse at Abu Ghraib prison.

The four US soldiers were killed in the restive southern Baghdad
neighborhood of Dura, a Sunni majority middle-class neighborhood where many
officials from the regime of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein used to live.

Six Iraqi police officers killed and three civilians were killed in a
sundown car bomb attack in the same neighborhood on Monday. And two police
were killed and two others wounded by an explosion while they were on
patrol, also in Dura.

Meanwhile some 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and a force of 2,500 marines, sailors
and soldiers continued their house-to-house sweep of the restive town of
Husayba, near the border with Syria.

The sweep, dubbed Operation Steel Curtain, focuses on the far western town
in the Sunni Arab province of Al-Anbar.

At least 36 suspected insurgents were killed in the operation that began
early Saturday, the military said, adding that there were no reports of
civilian casualties.

At least one US marine was reported killed in the fighting on Sunday.

The operation's goals are to shatter the Al-Qaeda in Iraq network and secure
the border region ahead of the December 15 general elections. US officials
believe that foreign Al-Qaeda fighters enter Iraq in that region from Syria.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq in turn threatened in an Internet statement to intensify
their campaign of violence unless the offensive ended.

The group said it gave "the apostate government and its (US) master 24 hours
to end their campaign against the Sunni people. After that they will only
see from us the worst and something that's going to make the earth tremble
under their feet."

The authenticity of the statement could not be independently verified.

In Washington, the Pentagon announced that 92,000 fresh troops would be
rotated into Iraq from mid-2006 to mid-2008.

Currently there are some 160,000 US troops in Iraq, a temporary build-up to
provide security ahead of the December 15 general elections. The baseline of
US troops in Iraq has been 138,000 troops.

The size of the US force in Iraq however will depend on conditions on the
ground and the ability of Iraq's military and police to take over security,
said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

In past rotations, the Pentagon has laid out deployment schedules for an
entire two year period. But this time, officials said it is deferring
decisions on the force's make-up until it becomes clear what role the Iraqi
security forces will play.

Lieutenant General David Petraeus, who headed the Iraqi training effort
until July, said Monday "huge progress" has been made in forming Iraqi
police and army that now number over 211,000.

Meanwhile a top official in Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari's party told AFP
that a meeting to prepare for a broad-based national dialogue conference
aimed at quelling Iraq's insurgency will take place November 19 in Cairo.

The goal is to organize a conference early next year after a new government
takes office following the December 15 general elections, said Jawad
al-Maliki, the number two official in Jaafari's Dawa Party.

Maliki made the announcement after a meeting with Ahmed Ben Helli, who has
been in Iraq since Saturday heading a delegation from the Arab League.
November 9th, 2005  

November 9th, 2005  
Italian Guy