Militant attack kills 8 Iraqi soldiers, 3 others

BAGHDAD - An insurgent attack killed eight Iraqi soldiers and three other people at a house in northern Diyala province on Wednesday, police said, in the latest assault on Iraqi security forces as US troops prepare to leave.

By (Reuters)

Published: Wed 11 Aug 2010, 7:38 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:47 AM

The soldiers died when a bomb exploded in the early hours, destroying the house in the town of Sadiya, northeast of Diyala’s capital Baquba, police said. The bodies of three civilians were found in the wreckage of the home.

Iraqi security forces have been frequent targets of a stubborn insurgency in recent months as the United States reduces its troop strength in Iraq more than seven years after the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

A police source said the soldiers had been fired upon from the house in Sadiya, while an Interior Ministry source said they had entered the house acting on a tip that kidnap victims were being held inside.

‘The explosion caused the building to collapse. All eight soldiers who entered the house were killed,’ a police official from the town said.

Four other soldiers were wounded in the blast.

‘Another three dead bodies, two women and a man, were found inside the house,’ another police source said. ‘Apparently they were killed by insurgents before they left the house.’

Washington plans to cut US troop numbers to about 50,000 by Aug. 31, the date for the formal end of combat operations, from just under 60,000 now.

Insurgents appear to be trying to take advantage of a power vacuum as Iraqi politicians squabble over positions in a new government more than five months after an inconclusive March 7 election.

Overall violence in Iraq has ebbed since the peak of sectarian warfare in 2006-07 but bombings and other attacks occur frequently.

Iraqi authorities said the number of civilians who died in bombings and other attacks nearly doubled in July to 396 from 204 in June. Fifty soldiers and 89 police officers also were killed, according to figures from government ministries.

In Baghdad, insurgents raided the home of Intisar Hassan Mohammed, a prominent physician and head of a Baghdad maternity hospital, early on Wednesday. Police said they tied up her husband and killed her before fleeing with money and gold from the home.

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