Iraq: Six US troops die as bodies of 21 Iraqis found
A roadside bomb killed five American Marines during "combat operations" in western Iraq, as the bodies of 21 Iraqis were found scattered in separate sites near a town close to the Syrian border, officials and witnesses said Friday.
The Marines died Thursday while conducting combat operations near the town of Haqlaniyah, the US military said in a statement. Another U.S. soldier died Thursday of non-combat injuries near Tuz Khormato, north of Baghdad, the military said.
Five other U.S. soldiers were injured Thursday when a suicide car bomber attacked their convoy between Beiji and Tikrit. Separately, seven American troops were inured when a suicide car bomber attacked their vehicle patrol in the northern city of Mosul on Friday, spokesman Sgt. John Franzen said.
The bodies of 21 persons who were executed have been discovered in western Iraq, witnesses said on Friday, according to Reuters.
It should be mentioned that police said on Wednesday that 22 Iraqi soldiers from the mainly Shi'ite south were kidnapped after leaving their base in the town of Qaem, near the Syrian border. The dead were blindfolded with their hands tied behind their backs.
Eleven of the bodies were scattered in a gravel pit and five were left beside a desert road often used by soldiers. Two of the men were headless.
Al Qaeda in Iraq declared on Thursday it was holding 36 Iraqi soldiers hostage and demanded the government free all women prisoners within 24 hours, according to a Web statement.