Four US troops killed as nine Iraqis die in blasts
A U.S. attack helicopter crashed in Iraq on Wednesday, killing two service members, the military said. The AH-1W Super Cobra went down shortly after 8 a.m. near Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, killing the two crew members, the military said. Two other soldiers were killed in the same city the day before by a roadside bomb, the military said. A U.S. Humvee was destroyed in this attack.
Earlier on Wednesday, nine Iraqis were killed when two roadside bombs exploded in Baghdad. Local police sources reported that five Iraqi soldiers were killed in the southeastern region of the city when a bomb exploded near their patrol, while a second bomb, which exploded on Baghdad's outskirts, killed four Iraqi civilians.
Four soldiers and ten civilians were also wounded in the attacks, including a third incident in which a bomb was detonated near a vegetable market in the Doura section of Baghdad, according to Reuters.
In western Baghdad, resistance fighters wounded a policeman when they attacked his patrol.
Five hundred Abu Ghraib prisoners set free, given gift of Qoran and $25
Meanwhile, US occupation forces on Tuesday set free five hundred prisoners from Abu Ghraib military prison. Each prisoner received a gift of the Qoran, $25, and a new white shirt upon release, the US Army said.
The move was a goodwill gesture on the part of US forces for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "These detainees have confessed to their crimes, renounced violence and pledged to be good citizens of Iraq," a U.S. military statement said.
Another 500 prisoners had been released by the US from Abu Ghraib in October. Currently, 13,885 prisoners are being held by US forces. Iraqi critics have claimed that Iraqi prisoners are held arbitrarily, and for too long by occupation forces.
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