At least 14 killed in Iraq car bombing attack
A suicide car bomber killed 14 people and injured over 40 outside a mosque in Hilla, south of Baghdad, on Wednesday as Shi'ite worshippers were gathering for the start of the holy month of Ramadan, police said. People were crowding round the entrance of the mosque when the car drove up and blasted, one senior police officer said, according to Reuters. Of the injured, six were in a critical condition.
Meanwhile, American forces on Wednesday continued in their biggest operation this year in western Iraq, seeking to retake three Euphrates River towns from al-Qaeda fighters. At least five U.S. service members have been killed in the fighting.
Operation River Gate - launched at the start of the holy month of Ramadan - was the second American offensive in a week in Anbar province, near the Syrian border. Al-Qaeda in Iraq called for intensified attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces during the holy month.
Blasts from U.S. warplanes and helicopters lit up the sky during the fighting. American warplanes struck bridges to prevent al-Qaeda in Iraq fighters from escaping the towns.
A single roadside bomb in Haqlaniyah on Monday killed three U.S. soldiers, the AP reported.
In Haditha, mosque loudspeakers urged residents to confront the Americans, but Marines said they encountered little resistance.