A roadside bomb killed an Amer-ican soldier and wounded three others yesterday in the second fatal attack on US troops in the capital in as many days. Iraq's new leader called for a halt to attacks on foreign troops, saying their rapid withdrawal would be a "major disaster."
American troops blocked off the site of the blast, which occurred as a convoy was passing along a street in eastern Baghdad. An attack against a U.S. convoy Friday -- also in the east of the capital -- killed five Americans and wounded five others.
It was unclear whether the attack was carried out by Sunni insurgents or Shiite Muslim militants enraged by the crackdown against radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who commands a following in the Shiite slums of the capital.
The ambush of the army convoy was one of a series of attacks yesterday against both the US occupation force and Iraqis who work with them as the June 30 transfer of sovereignty to a new, US-backed Iraqi administration draws near.
In Mosul, attackers fired a rocket-propelled grenade at an Iraqi Army recruiting center, wounding 17 people, hospital and police said.
Iraq's new prime minister, in his first televised address to the nation, called for a halt to attacks on Americans and other foreign soldiers, saying their presence would be needed to help the sovereign leadership improve security.
"The targeting of the multinational forces under the leadership of the United States to force them to leave Iraq would inflict a major disaster on Iraq, especially before the completion of the building of security and military institutions," Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said.
In the Shiite holy city of Najaf,where US troops and al-Sadr's militia have been facing off since early April, Iraqi police returned to duty on the streets for the first time in weeks yesterday.
US forces and radical cleric al-Sadr agreed on Friday to pull back from Najaf in a deal that, if it works, could mark the end of an uprising that has engulfed cities across southern Iraq and led to hundreds of deaths since April.
Riding in the backs of police pick-up trucks and armed with rifles, police took up positions in the city's main streets. There was no sign of Sadr's Mehdi Army.
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