8 marines among 40 dead in Iraq
* Iraqi militants post video of downed US chopper
BAGHDAD: Eight US marines and a sailor were among at least 35 people killed in the war-ravaged Iraq on Monday.
The US Marines and sailor were killed in action on Sunday in Iraq’s western Anbar province, the US military said on Monday. A military statement gave no further details.
Five US Marines were killed in western Iraq on Sunday when their seven-tonne truck rolled over in a flash flood, the military said on Monday.
A US military withdrawal hinges on the performance of Iraqi forces, who have watched thousands of their comrades die in bombing attacks and shootings.
A car bomb killed at least 10 people near a Shia mosque in Baghdad on Monday, Interior Ministry sources said. The blast in the Shaab district of Baghdad also wounded at least 30 people, the sources said.
In Basra, six members of the Al Saadun family were murdered in broad daylight in the middle of the city’s main market place. “The attack was well organised and swift,” said a police officer. “The group must have had accomplices keeping an eye on the area.”
In Baghdad, gunmen burst into a Shia home late on Sunday and killed four people, including three women, police said. The head of the household had been shot dead in a similar incident only a few days earlier.
Elsewhere in Baiji, a 76-year-old man was shot dead during a battle between police and militants. A policeman was also wounded. Northeast of the capital, in Baquba, a university student was shot in the middle of the downtown market. Outside Baquba, on the main highway, a man was killed when a roadside bomb went off, while a man and a woman riding in a taxi were shot at by gunmen.
Police discovered two corpses in eastern Baghdad – one in Mashtal that was handcuffed and shot in the head, another in Baladiyat that was strangled and covered with bandages.
In Dora, drive-by shooters killed a police captain outside his home late on Sunday, police said. In the northern city of Kirkuk, gunmen killed a Sunni cleric on Monday as he headed home from the Al-Quds mosque, police said.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British counterpart Jack Straw wound up two days of intensive talks with Iraqi leaders on Monday pressing them to speed up the formation of a new government but without any indication of a breakthrough.
An Iraqi militant group issued on Monday a videotape showing what it claimed to be the wreckage of a US helicopter that was shot down two days back south of Baghdad, Al-Jazeera news channel said.
The footage carried the emblem of the insurgent group – the Al-Rashideen Army’s Al-Rahman brigade – and showed debris strewn in a field while a helicopter hovered over head. On Sunday, the Al-Rashideen Army claimed responsibility for the attack. Agencies