May 21st, 2009 13:55 EST
3 American Troops Slain In Bombing Attack
Three American troops were slain on Thursday after a bomb went off in southern Baghdad, DofD officials announced. The U.S. soldiers were among 66 deaths attributed to the latest rash of insurgent violence now ensnaring the capital city and the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, at a time when the U.S. is preparing to pull out some of its forces in Iraq within the next coming weeks.
The explosion that killed U.S. troops was one of a string of blasts that accounted for tens injured over the past two days.
According to American and Iraqi authorities, the most devastating bombing happened in the capital`s southern Dora district, striking close to where a U.S. foot patrol was making its rounds.
Despite their first claim reporting that nine U.S. soldiers were hurt from the bomb`s impact, U.S. military officials haven`t verified the number since many of the wounded are still being examined and treated for their injuries.
Army Maj. David Shoupe confirmed that the bombing occurred at 10:38 a.m. GMT+3 (Standard Time) at a moment when soldiers were inspecting an area close to an outdoor market.
Local police forces reported that a suicide bomber had been to blame for the attack, which had not yet been confirmed by American military officers.
Shoupe revealed that four civilian casualties were resultant of the explosion, though Iraqi law enforcement and doctors have placed the figure in the range of 12 dead while they said 25 more were injured.
While disclosing the information, those who released the details behind the facts maintained complete anonymity on the grounds that they had been disallowed to discuss the ongoing investigation.
Early Thursday morning, Another suicide bombing in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk killed seven members from a regional Awakening Council, a Sunni Muslim rebel group combating and supplying defenses against al-Qaeda insurgents, in addition to injuring as many as seven others. The seven were waiting in a line to receive salaries at an Iraqi army base in the city when the bomber detonated a device attached to his belt.
Known by many as the Sons of Iraq, the members of the Muslim corps are consistently being attacked by al-Qaeda and related Sunni militant cells that are fighting U.S. forces and the new Iraqi regime.
Meanwhile in western Baghdad, a bomb killed three police officers and injured 19 more in a police station, after the bomber entered the building and secured the device inside a garbage can, according to Iraqi police.
The slew of insurgent bombings followed a day in which a car blew up nearby a restaurant district in a Shiite neighborhood in northwest Baghdad, claiming 41 lives while wounding over 70 others.
The car bombing was the first serious attack of its kind since May 6th. That explosion occurred at a produce market in a southern area of the capital, killing 15 people in the carnage.
On April 29th, 51 Iraqis were killed when a pair of car bombings erupted in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City: the last deadliest car attack until Thursday`s incident.
Iraqis, injured in the Shula bombing on Wednesday, were still being treated at a Baghdad hospital for shrapnel wounds and burns.
A day following the bloodiest suicide bombing in almost a month, caskets of those killed in the blast were seen all around the area where the bombing occurred.
While U.S. and U.S.-supported Iraqi forces have suppressed much of the insurgency throughout the country, there are still periodic bursts of violence that disrupt the times of calmness, and are usually difficult to determine when and where they will happen next.
Although President Barack Obama plans to remove all American soldiers from Baghdad and other major cities in Iraq by a June 30th deadline, the latest succession of offenses clearly puts Iraq`s capability in handling the sole responsibility of keeping the peace in question.
Under the accord agreed upon by both U.S. and Iraqi governments back on January 1st, President Obama is planning on evacuating all military troops from Iraq by September 2010, while other U.S. forces will remain in the country until the end of 2011.
Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has the option of requesting a delay in the U.S.` withdrawal should he decide the nation isn`t ready to be entirely self-sufficient, but affirms that the Iraqi government will be prepared to maintain the same level of security without foreign assistance.
The U.S. occupation in the country has become an issue for the Iraqi people, many of whom are on either in full support or completely against the United States` involvement.