A soldier assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division near Mosul died Friday from injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device. Two soldiers were also injured in the bombing. And a Marine died of wounds he sustained in combat in Anbar province Friday, a news release said.
U.S. forces have identified Shiite militias as the greatest threat to Iraq's stability. American troops raided the capital's main emergency hospital yesterday morning, seizing the weapons of security guards believed to be linked to al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia, hospital and police officials said.
Iraqi forces said the U.S. military seized AK-47s and machine guns ostensibly used by the guards to protect the facility, which has come under repeated attack by insurgents.
One hospital employee said the Americans scoured the hospital seeking a specific person who allegedly belonged to the Mahdi militia. They were not able to identify the individual, and the guards were released after being told they would face arrest if they were seen with weapons again, Iraqi officials at the hospital said.
Iraq's Health Ministry is controlled by Shiites loyal to al-Sadr. U.S. military commanders have complained privately that al-Sadr loyalists have turned the ministry into a political and fundraising tool. Sunni Arabs complain that they're denied health care services or targeted for kidnapping and assassination upon entering state-controlled hospitals and clinics.
The 5:30 a.m. raid on Baghdad's Yarmouk Hospital followed the arrest Friday morning of Sheik Abdul-Hadi al-Darraji, an al-Sadr deputy.
U.S. forces also detained 25 people they described as terrorism suspects in Sunni Arab enclaves north and west of Baghdad, a news release said.
Authorities in Baghdad said they discovered the bodies of 29 Iraqi civilians, all apparently victims of sectarian death squads, that had been dumped in various parts of the capital.
Mortar battles between neighboring Shiite and Sunni enclaves in northern Baghdad left at least four dead and 18 injured. Gunmen ambushed and killed a ranking Ministry of Interior official in northern Baghdad.
Near the provincial capital of Hillah, authorities discovered the bullet-riddled body of a man in his 30s. Unidentified gunmen in another town opened fire on a crowd of people, killing one. Gunmen in the town of Madain broke into two houses and killed three people, including two women.
Borzou Daragahi writes for the Los Angeles Times.
Killed in Iraq
As of yesterday, at least 3,052 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003.
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph D. Alomar, 22, Brooklyn, N.Y.; died Wednesday at Camp Bucca in a noncombat related incident; assigned to the Navy Provisional Detention Battalion.
Army Sgt. Gregroy A. Wright, 28, Boston; died Jan. 13 in Muqdadiyah of wounds suffered when an explosive detonated near his vehicle; assigned to the 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
Army Spc. Collin R. Schockmel, 19, Richwood, Texas; died Tuesday in Ramadi of wounds suffered when his unit came in contact with enemy forces; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.