Mon, Dec 13, 2004 - Page 6 News List

More Iraqi police, troops killed

DEADLY Twelve police officers were killed in attacks over the weekend, while a car bomb also exploded in a Kurdish region and fighting erupted in Fallujah

AFP , BAGHDAD

A roadside bomb killed a US soldier in Baghdad while suicide car bombers attacked American military vehicles west and north of the capital, killing three attackers but causing no coalition casualties, the military said yesterday.

Meanwhile, insurgents shot dead an Iraqi police officer in the latest of a spate of deadly weekend attacks on security forces across Iraq, as the number of US troops killed while trying to impose order ahead of next month's landmark elections continued to rise.

Insurgents fired mortars and rocket-propelled grenades at Iraqi National Guardsmen in downtown Baghdad early yesterday as part of a campaign to derail next month's nationwide elections and attack Iraqi government forces seen as collaborating with US-led troops. There were no casualties reported.

A day earlier insurgent attacks left three senior Iraqi police officers dead. At least 12 Iraqis were killed Saturday and yesterday. Four officers, including a provincial police chief, died and seven were wounded in three separate ambushes north of Baghdad, police said.

Insurgents also attacked an Iraqi National Guard (ING) unit in central Baghdad yesterday, the US military said.

"Several hand grenades were thrown at the ING unit, though there were no casualties or damage to equipment. Mortars and rocket-propelled grenades were also used by insurgents against the ING," the military said.

Following the fight, US soldiers found two recoilless rifles and two 155mm artillery shells outside the Taha mosque, the military said.

Elsewhere, a car bomb yesterday rocked Arbil, a city in Iraq's relatively stable northern Kurdish region, eyewitnesses said, wounding two people. The attack was the first such in the city since 105 people were killed in two suicide attacks in February.

Seven civilians were killed by gunmen in a series of attacks over the weekend in Iraq's "triangle of death," south of Baghdad, police and witnesses said.

A US marine was killed Saturday in Al-Anbar Province, where renewed fighting erupted in the former rebel stronghold of Fallujah after days of relative calm following last month's blistering assault on the city, the US military said.

Marines in the Sunni Muslim city fired several dozen artillery rounds from their main base near the town during the day, an AFP correspondent said.

Military commanders say their assault on Fallujah crippled Iraq's insurgency, but eight coalition soldiers were wounded Saturday when their convoy was attacked with mortar rounds, grenades and small arms fire in the northern city of Mosul.

US air support dropped a quarter-tonne bomb on the attackers, but the number of casualties among the attackers was unknown, the army said.

The latest figures from the Pentagon, released Dec. 10, put the number of US troops killed in action in Iraq since the start of last year's invasion at 1,007, not including deaths over the weekend.

Iraq Body Count, an association of academics and peace activists who compile their statistics using media reports, puts the number of Iraqi civilians killed as a result of coalition military action at up to nearly 17,000.

With January's landmark elections looming, the electoral commission said on Saturday that Iraqis living in Canada and Germany may not be able to vote because the two countries are worried that voting centers might be attacked.

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