Iraq: Two US troops killed as prisoners freed
Two American troops south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Thursday, while a series of attacks across the country left at least 11 Iraqis dead and several wounded.
One U.S. soldier was killed Wednesday during a raid to capture "foreign terrorists," the U.S. military command said, the AP reported. Two of the gunmen also were killed, it said. The other American soldier died Thursday when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb, the military said.
In Baghdad, a car bomb in the mixed neighborhood of al-Mashtal in eastern Baghdad killed two civilians and wounded five others, police said. The blast took place about 100 yards from a police station, police said.
Another car bomb - targeting a police patrol in the Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah - killed two civilians and injured four people, included two policemen, police said.
Elsewhere in the capital, five day laborers were injured when a bomb hidden in trash went off outside a paint shop in downtown Tayaran Square, while a roadside bomb exploded next to an Iraqi police patrol, wounding two policemen.
In the Azamiyah neighborhood, gunmen opened fire on a police patrol, killing one policeman and wounding another, police said.
To the north, a bomb in a minivan killed three policemen and injured a minivan driver in Baqouba, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, police said.
On the outskirts of that city, a roadside bomb struck an Iraqi army convoy, killing three soldiers and destroying their armored vehicle, said Baqouba army commander Brig. Salman al-Talabani.
To the east, police found four handcuffed bodies dumped separately in the streets of Kut, a city 100 miles southeast of the capital. All had been shot, said Mahmoud Khazim of the city morgue.
Overnight in the capital, police said gunmen killed at least three people, two of them in the predominantly Sunni area of Amariyah that has been part of the new security strategy.
Meanwhile, as part of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's reconciliation efforts, U.S. and Iraqi authorities have been releasing prisoners, and they freed 55 people in Baghdad on Thursday. The prisoners, who were freed in the city's central bus station, chanted slogans supporting Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.