Suicide attack kills 10 Iraqis, wounds 30

U.S. officials report the combat death of an American soldier in Diyala province

June 10, 2007|By Garrett Therolf | Garrett Therolf,LOS ANGELES TIMES

BAGHDAD -- A suicide bomber killed 10 Iraqi soldiers and wounded 30 others yesterday when he drove a truck packed with explosives into an army headquarters in a town south of Baghdad, the unit's commander said.

As the bomber approached the compound near the insurgent hotbed of Iskandariya, he raised suspicion and was shot by soldiers but was able to detonate his cargo, Brig. Gen. Imad Selawi said.

In other developments yesterday, a U.S. detention facility came under attack, the U.S. military announced the death of a soldier, and Iraq demanded that its northern neighbor Turkey cease operations against Kurdish militants in Iraqi territory.

The rocket attack on the detention center in southern Iraq killed six Iraqis who were being held there and injured at least 50 others, the U.S. military said. Witnesses said three rockets fell on the base in the port town of Umm al Qasr along the Persian Gulf coast. The military did not say who the detainees were or why they were being held.

No Americans were harmed in the attack, but in a separate battle in Diyala province, one U.S. soldier was shot and killed, the military announced. No other details were released. The death raised to 3,505 the number of American troops killed since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, according to icasualties.org.

As the violence played out across the country, diplomats in Iraq's Foreign Ministry formally demanded that Turkey stop the repeated firing of artillery shells in Iraq's northern Kurdish territory.

Turkish forces have been firing their weaponry into the mountainous region in an effort to drive out Kurdish separatists who have found a haven there and eliminate their attacks in Turkey. In recent days, Turkey has said it might have to take further military action.

In response, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish charge d'affaires yesterday and asked him to deliver an urgent demand to cease hostilities in Iraqi territories. According to a statement, the incursions resulted in "intense fire, casualties and terrified civilians."

The statement reiterated Iraq's position that the separatists' actions against Turkey were unlawful and said Iraq would work with Turkey to stop the militants. The Turkish diplomat agreed to transmit the message to his government but did not immediately respond to the Iraqi demand.

The point was underscored later in the day in Baghdad when a bomb embedded in the road exploded near a school on the east side of the city, killing five civilians and injuring 12 others.

Garrett Therolf writes for the Los Angeles Times.

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