Two US soldiers killed in Iraq
BAGHDAD: Another US soldier has been killed and two more wounded by an Improvised Explosive Device or booby-trapped bomb in the rebellious Sunni belt west of Baghdad, a military spokesman said Saturday.
“At approximately 6:30am (0330 GMT) yesterday (Friday) Task Force All American was attacked with IED near Ramadi,” 100 kilometres west of the capital.
“Three soldiers were wounded. They were medivaced to the 28th Combat Hospital in Baghdad where one soldier died,” later in the day, the spokesman said. The military spokesman also announced Saturday that a US soldier from the 1st Armoured Division in Baghdad had died at 3:20am on December 12 from “non-hostile gunshot wounds”.
An Iraqi man lay dead on the street in a pool of blood, and another stood handcuffed, his head covered by a sack early Saturday, following what US troops said was a shootout in Tikrit, the hometown of ousted president Saddam Hussein.
The top US military commander in Iraq said Saturday attacks on coalition soldiers had fallen to around 20 per day after a deadly surge last month. Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez told reporters the average number of daily attacks had sunk to “around 20”. Sanchez said on Saturday the coalition was reviewing the pay scale for the New Iraqi Army after a few hundred soldiers walked out on the fighting force’s first battalion.
Iraq is to allow 3,000 Iranian pilgrims into the country on a daily basis under a deal struck between Abdel Aziz Hakim, a top Shiite member of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council and Iranian officials, reports said Saturday. UN chief Kofi Annan said in an interview to be published on Monday that Iraq would need military aid for years to come but ruled out sending UN peacekeepers to help stability in the war-torn country. —Agencies