Soldier killed by road bomb near Balad
Stars and Stripes March 13, 2008
A U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb Tuesday south of Baghdad, bringing to nine the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq in the first two days of this week.
The Tuesday attack occurred as soldiers conducted a combat patrol near Diwaniyah, Iraq, military officials said. Two other soldiers were wounded in the incident and were taken to a U.S. hospital for treatment. No word on their condition was released on Wednesday.
The name and unit of the soldier were being withheld until family was notified, in keeping with U.S. military policy.
Also on Tuesday, a car bomber targeted the headquarters of an armed citizens group that has aligned itself with the U.S. military. The bomb struck a building in Duluiyah, north of Baghdad, used as headquarters for what the U.S. military calls Sons of Iraq groups, which are paid by U.S. troops.
According to military officials, one of the group members “fired his weapon at the driver of an explosive-laden pick-up truck after realizing [the driver‘s] intent, but the driver was still able to detonate the bomb.”
At least seven people were killed and 11 were injured in the resulting blast, U.S. officials said.
Seven of the wounded were taken to a local Iraqi hospital, while three others were taken for treatment at Forward Operating Base Paliwoda. The other injured civilian was taken to Balad hospital, officials said.
“This was a cowardly attempt by an element of al-Qaida in Iraq to destabilize the success of the Awakening group of Ad Duluiyah,” Lt. Col. Thomas Hauerwas, executive officer of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, was quoted as saying in a military news release.
The attacks were the latest in a series of incidents in recent days across Iraq — from an attack on a civilian bus in southern Iraq to bombings in Baghdad to attacks on troops in northern Iraq.
U.S. military officials have said it is too early to say that the series of attacks is a trend.
For several months, violence has decreased as Shiite militias adhere to a cease-fire, Sunni civilian groups deserted their support for al-Qaida and a U.S. troop “surge” put troops in areas they had not been before.