Two American troops were killed and five others injured in a bombing attack north of Baghdad late Friday, the US military said Saturday. "Two soldiers were killed and five were injured near Baiji at 8:22 pm (1722 GMT) Feb. 4, when an improvised explosive device exploded while on patrol. The wounded were transported to a local treatment facility," the military said, according to AFP. In another incident in the area, one US soldier was killed Friday and seven others were wounded by a roadside bomb, the U.S. command said.
Elsewhere, four Iraqi soldiers were killed after a booby-trapped motorcycle exploded near their vehicle in the southern city of Basra, an army spokesman on Saturday said.
Two Iraqi children were killed when a landmine went off Saturday in the city of Samarra, north of Baghdad, security and medical sources said. Two Iraqi soldiers were also killed in a roadside bomb attack in the same city.
Also in Samarra, another soldier and a civilian were killed during clashes in the city centre, police lieutenant Hussein Abbas said, according to AFP. In the nearby troublespot of Dhuluiya, a soldier was killed and four civilians wounded in clashes, police captain Amjad Saad said.
Meanwhile, gunmen seized Giuliana Sgrena, a journalist for the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto, after blocking her car near the Baghdad University compound. She had gone to interview refugees from Fallujah and to attend Friday prayers at a nearby mosque, according to Italian radio journalist Barbara Schiavulli.
According to The AP, Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said Sgrena may have been taken by a Sunni gang "who shot at our martyrs of Nasiriyah."