10 including 3 US marines killed in Iraqi violence
* Militants say US soldier executed in Iraq
* Three Turkish hostages freed
BAGHDAD: Three US Marines and a Briton were among the 10 people killed in Iraq on Tuesday as violent attacks continued one day after the US led coalition handed over power to the caretaker government.
“Three Marines were killed and two were wounded when a Marine convoy was attacked with a roadside bomb in east Baghdad at 2:00am,” a US military statement said. Interior Ministry spokesman Colonel Adnan Abdul Rahman said the bomb hit a US military convoy near the Canal Hotel on the east of Baghdad.
Col Rahman said two Iraqi insurgents were killed in a three-hour gunfight after attacking a police station in Baghdad’s northern Adhamiya district.
“At seven o’clock this morning a group of around 20 terrorists attacked the police station at Adhamiya using rocket-propelled grenades, Kalashnikovs and rockets,” he said. “American forces came to help the Iraqi police and we killed two terrorists and the others ran away,” he said.
Witnesses at the scene said the gunmen had been surprised by American snipers hiding in a nearby building and that four US tanks and six Humvee armoured vehicles had later joined the fight.
Elsewhere, in the town of Mahmudiyah, 30 kilometres south of Baghdad, one policeman was killed and another injured in an attack on the police headquarters.
“About 40 gunmen, armed with Kalashnikovs, attacked the police station, but policemen there resisted in a gun battle that lasted about 90 minutes, forcing the assailants to flee,” said Col Rahman. In Karbala, unidentified assailants attacked the house of the chief of police with small-arms fire, wounding one policeman, according to a multinational force statement.
A senior police officer in Kirkuk was targeted by a bomb attack which killed his driver and wounded two of his guards, according to the city’s police chief.
A British civilian contractor was killed in Mosul on Thursday while working as a security consultant, Britain’s Foreign Office said on Tuesday. “I understand that his vehicle was ambushed,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman said, giving no more details of the incident. In Mosul, two Kurdish fighters were killed and two others injured by unidentified attackers as they drove through the eastern Karama neighbourhood, a police officer said.
An Arabic television station broadcast videotape showing what militants said was the execution of a US soldier, hours after the United States and Britain formally handed power to an interim Iraqi government. While uncertainty shrouded his fate, three Turkish hostages walked free after their release by a group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
His group had previously threatened to behead the Turks on Tuesday unless their government told companies to stop dealing with US forces in Iraq.
“Jama’at al-Tawhid and Jihad announces the release of the Turkish hostages for the sake of Muslims in Turkey and their demonstrations against President Bush,” a masked man said on a video tape aired by Arabic Al Jazeera TV.
A Turkish government official confirmed the three men had been released. Another two Turkish men taken hostage in Iraq three weeks ago have told their families they are well and will return to Turkey within a week, Turkish media reported. The captors of the Turks have said they would be killed on Tuesday unless Turkey orders companies to stop dealing with US forces in Iraq. Ankara has rejected the demand.
The Pakistani’s kidnappers said on Sunday he would be beheaded within three days unless Iraqi prisoners are released. agencies