4 Us Troops Killed Blasts Attacks Kill

4 US Troops Killed; Blasts & Attacks Kill and Wound in Baghdad, Baquba, Mosul

AP reports that guerrillas killed four US troops in separate incidents in Baghdad and al-Anbar province on Monday and Tuesday. Guerrillas detonated a roadside bomb on the western outskirts of Baghdad, killing two US soldiers. In al-Anbar, guerrillas employed mortar rounds to kill one Marines and another died of wounds received earlier. Two US troops died of causes not directly related to warfare. 919 US troops have died in Iraq since the beginning of the war.

In the Washash district of Baghdad, guerrillas detonated a roadside bomb, killing a local chief of police–Col. Mouyad Mohammed Bashar of the al-Mamoun station– and one other officer, and wounding a third.

Also on Tuesday, a suicide bomber blew up his car at a checkpoint outside the eastern city of Baquba, killing 4 National Guards and wounding 5 others. He was apparently aiming at a US military convoy but missed and hit the Iraqi National Guards instead.

In the northern city of Mosul, guerrillas attacked a police station, killing one policeman and wounding two others.

Guerrillas bombed the Kirkuk-Ceyhun pipeline in the north, sending columns of jet smoke into the air, and further delaying the export of petroleum from the northern fields yet again. Iraq can pump about 250,000 barrels a day from the northern fields. On Monday, two high Kurdish officials in Kirkuk narrowly escaped assassination. Among them was Jamal Shakur, mayor of the city, who is close to Jalal Talabani.

In the city of Yusufiyah, 15 miles south of Baghdad, guerrillas fired on the office of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the Shiite leader. This is a mixed area and the guerrillas are thought to have been Sunni radicals. Shiite militiamen returned fire, killing six of their opponents and capturing 3 others.

Robert Fisk reflects on his three weeks in Iraq. He maintains that neither PM Allawi nor the American troops control most of the country, and that the security situation is very bad. I have to say, the Iraq he describes looks an awful lot more plausible to me than the one on US television and in US politicians’ speeches.