5 US Troops Killed; 90 Iraqis Wounded in Mosul; District Election for Sadr City Bombed:

Guerrillas deployed a roadside bomb to kill 3 American soldiers and an interpreter in northern Iraq on Tuesday.

McClatchy reports two major bombings in Iraq on Tuesday.

  • In Mosul, guerrillas set off a massive bomb outside a coffee shop, wounding at least 90 persons. McClatchy is reporting 2 deaths, but said the total would rise.
  • In Baghdad, a meeting of a local district council was bombed, killing 11 persons and wounding 11. An election was just about to be held for the chairman of the local admisory council in Sadr City. Among the dead were two US soldiers and two USG employees, one of them a PRT officer for Sadr City, Steven L. Farley. Two Defense Department civilians, one an American, were also killed. A US soldier and 10 Iraqis were wounded.

    The SF Chronicle has more on Mr. Farley.

    Sawt al-Iraq reports in Arabic on the statement about US troop withdrawals of Humam Hamoudi. Hamoudi, a Shiite cleric and member of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, heads the Foreign Relations Committee in the Iraqi parliament. He met with a number of American officials on Monday, and expressed his conviction that a studied withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq is the foundation of any security agreement with the USA. He told David Satterfield and Gen. Mark Kimmit of the “necessity to safeguard the sovereignty of Iraq and to arrive at an agreement that would gain the assent of the Iraqi people and the support of the parliamentary blocks. The studied withdrawal of foreign forces would be foundational to such an agreement.”

    Hamoudi’s party, ISCI, has been among the main US allies in Iraq and is the cornerstone of what little power Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has. If he is talking about the need to build a plan for a deliberate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq into any security agreement, imagine how the groups that distrust the US feel.

    Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that families in the destitute al-Ansar quarter of Najaf are complaining about the raw sewage that comes into their district, and saying they believe it is implicated in the recent deaths of 25 persons of cancer in the one square kilometer neighborhood.

    On how you won’t see most of this on t.v.:

    Reuters reports other political violence in Iraq on Tuesday:

    ‘ TIKRIT – U.S. forces detained the head of a local journalists’ union in Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad, police and the Iraqi media watchdog the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory said.

    MOSUL – Gunmen kidnapped four university students from their halls of residence in western Mosul, north of Baghdad, police said. They later released two of them.

    MOSUL – U.S. forces said they killed a senior al Qaeda leader in Mosul, although they gave no details on what his role had been in the city.

    BALAD – Two members of a U.S.-backed Iraqi neighbourhood patrol were killed and four others were wounded when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle on the outskirts of Balad town, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

    YATHRIB – Iraqi security forces backed by U.S. troops caught a wanted Iraqi al Qaeda militant along with his Saudi Arabian aide in Yathrib village, north of Baghdad, security forces said.

    BAGHDAD – U.S. forces killed one gunman and captured 12 others on Monday in various operations in different parts of northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.

    KERBALA – Iraqi police arrested three wanted Shi’ite militiamen accused of killing and kidnapping people in central Kerbala, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad, police said. ‘