7 U.S. troops die in Iraq, and bombs kill 13 Iraqis
The blasts in a Shiite area of Baghdad bring the toll to more than 150 from bombings in a week.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published January 28, 2007
BAGHDAD - The U.S. military reported the deaths of seven more soldiers Saturday, while Sunni insurgent bombers struck yet another market in a predominantly Shiite district, killing at least 13 people in their bid to terrorize Baghdad days before a U.S.-Iraqi military crackdown.
The latest market attack capped a week in which more than 150 people, mostly Shiites, were slain in bomb attacks.
Death squads, believed to be primarily Shiite militiamen, continued their butchery on the other side of Iraq's deepening sectarian divide, with police reporting the discovery of 40 bodies dumped in Baghdad alone. Two of the victims were women and most of the bodies showed signs of torture, police said.
In all, at least 61 victims of Iraq's sectarian warfare were killed or found dead across the country.
Of the seven service members reported dead on Saturday, three died in an unspecified location north of Baghdad on Saturday, two died in Diyala province northeast of the capital on Friday, and two in east Baghdad on Thursday.
U.S. airstrikes killed 14 insurgents and destroyed a safe house for foreign fighters during a raid south of Baqubah, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. Two suspects were captured, the military said.
The Americans said the raid had targeted a foreigner they believed responsible for a series of attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces in the extremely violent Baqubah region. The military there has been caught in the midst of some of the bloodiest sectarian fighting of the war.
Saturday's bombings employed what has become a classic insurgent tactic. First a suicide car bomber drove into the crowded market stalls in the busy New Baghdad commercial area shortly after noon, then detonated explosives among the stores and kiosks selling food, clothes, household appliances and birds.
As people rushed to help the victims, a parked car bomb exploded. The 13 killed included two policemen; four officers were among the 42 wounded, police said.
Burned-out hulks of cars and vans littered the market. A bag of fruit lay in the twisted metal on the bloody pavement.
Farooq Haitham, the 33-year-old owner of a watch repair shop, said the area had been targeted by bombers before but shopkeepers had no choice but to keep opening their doors.
"What can we do? We want to live. We need the money so we come to work," Haitham said.
It was the latest in a series of attacks against commercial targets over the past week. The attack signals a tough battle ahead as U.S. and Iraqi forces prepare for the security operation, a third bid to pacify the capital since Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki took power on May 25.
The week's deadliest attack killed 88 people Monday when a suicide car bomber crashed into a market in the central neighborhood of Bab al-Sharqi.
Iran denounces U.S.
TEHRAN, Iran - A top Iranian lawmaker denounced the United States on Saturday for allowing its troops to kill or capture Iranians in Iraq whom U.S. forces believe pose a threat.
"This is support for terrorism. It is against all recognized international treaties to order the death of nationals of another country in a foreign land," Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, said on state television.
On Friday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said U.S. forces "are authorized to go after those who are trying to kill them."