Over 40 dead in Iraq as talks on future of American forces start
Attacks killed at least 42 people Tuesday, including 16 bus passengers caught in a roadside bombing in southern Iraq.
Tuesday's attack on the bus traveling from Najaf to Basra killed 16 civilians and wounded 22, a policeman said, according to the AP. Gunmen also sprayed another bus with machine-gun fire shortly after it hit a roadside bomb in eastern Baghdad. One person died and four others were injured, police said. The bomb was apparently targeting a nearby police patrol.
In Duluiyah, 45 miles north of Baghdad, police said a suicide bomber blew up his truck at a checkpoint near the headquarters of the local Awakening Council, killing five people.
And in Kut, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, clashes with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia left 12 dead and 14 wounded. Thirty people were detained.
In Mosul, an unknown number of gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in Mosul, killing four policemen and wounding one civilian. Four of the attacking gunmen also were killed in the firefight, according to a Ninevah police officer.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi foreign ministry declared the start of talks between American and Iraqi officials on the future of the US military presence in Iraq. "The two parties started today, in the ministry of foreign affairs, talks .... on agreements and arrangements for long-term cooperation and friendship, including agreement on temporary US troop presence in Iraq," the ministry said, according to AFP.