Blasts kill six American troops, two Iraqi civilians as three Iraqi fighters shot dead near Tikrit
A roadside bomb went off close to a passing U.S. military convoy west of Baghdad on Tuesday, and a second bomb exploded when reinforcements arrived, damaging vehicles and inflicting several casualties, witnesses said.
At least three U.S. soldiers and two Iraqis were killed, a U.S. military spokesman said. One U.S. soldier and three Iraqis were also injured in the attack, the spokesman said.
The attack took place near Khaldiyah, some 80 kilometers west of Baghdad.
An eyewitness said he saw a U.S. military vehicle on fire after the first explosion.
As more American forces came to the site of the attack, another bomb went off, setting fire to another vehicle, he added, according to The AP.
In response, the US troops fired randomly, he said, and claimed that many Iraqis were killed.
Hours after this incident, a bomb that exploded south of Baghdad killed three U.S. soldiers and wounded three others. The roadside bomb reported at about 8 p.m. Tuesday near Iskandariyah, some 40 kilometers south of Baghdad, a military statement said.
Elsewhere, U.S. occupation forces killed three members of a suspected resistance cell during raids Tuesday in a central Iraqi town, the US Army said.
Master Sgt. Robert Cargie, spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division, said the men, all Iraqis, belonged to an organization called Muhammad's Army and were killed in Beiji, a town north of Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.
According to The ap, US troops were conducting simultaneous raids on four Beiji locations when a firefight erupted at one site, Cargie said. There were no U.S. casualties.
Muhammad's Army is considered to be an umbrella group for former Iraqi intelligence agents, army and security officials, and Baath Party members, according to the U.S. intelligence. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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