Two U.S. service members killed in northern Iraq

BAGHDAD — Two United States service members were killed Sunday in northern Iraq, according to a statement from U.S. forces-Iraq.

No further details were provided about the incident, which the brief statement said occurred while they were “conducting operations in northern Iraq.” The incident came only three days after the death of a US contractor in east Baghdad

In a separate development Sunday, two civilians were killed and 17 people, including nine policemen, were wounded when a suicide bomber on a wheelchair blew himself up inside a police station north Baghdad early Sunday.

The attack targeted the police station of Tarmiyah, one of the Sunni neighborhoods in north Baghdad.

A police source who talked on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media said that the attack took place around midday, when a man came to the station claiming he has official procedures to be processed. He was not checked by the security forces.

When the man entered the building, he blew himself up with the wheelchair, which was loaded with explosives and nails. Among the injured people was the chief of the police station.

The attack came two days after three bloody explosions targeted the Shiite majority neighborhood of Shurta, where more than 20 people were killed.

The latest violence also occurred during a difficult time for the security forces working in recent days to secure the Iraqi capital for the Shiite pilgrims who come from many provinces to commemorate on Tuesday the anniversary for the martyrdom of Imam Moussa al Kadhim, the seventh Imam of Shiite Muslim.

According to Iraqi news sites, police arrested six insurgents in south Baghdad and confiscated many weapons and bombs they were preparing to use against the Shiite pilgrims.

Meanwhile, a police source told McClatchy that six people were arrested in Zafaraniyah neighborhood in southeast Baghdad.

The source confirmed that the men were arrested after intelligence information found that they were planning to attack Shiite pilgrims adding that many machine guns and improvised explosive devices were found in the raided house.

Another man was arrested in the Saidiyah neighborhood south Baghdad while he was planting an IED in the pilgrims’ route.

(Hammoudi is a McClatchy special correspondent.)


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