Twin Samarra blasts hit US convoy

Eight people, including four children, have been killed and at least 23 wounded in a double car bombing in the path of a US army convoy near a nursery school in the Iraqi city of Samarra, local officials say.

    US soldiers led an offensive on Samarra in early October

    A US military spokeswoman said 11 US troops were among the

    wounded in what was the first major attack in Samarra since its was

    wrested from Iraqi fighters in a deadly offensive by US and Iraqi

    troops at the start of October.

    "A pair of vehicle-concealed IEDs [improvised explosive devices]

    detonated near the city centre in Samarra" on Wednesday, the spokeswoman said

    .

    She the bombs killed

    one child and injured 11 US troops

    and an Iraqi civilian.

    Dr Husain Allah al-Din

     said four children were killed and 20 people wounded in the blast in Samarra, a battle-scarred city north of Baghdad.

    The casualties were evacuated to Samarra's general hospital.

    Police commander Salah Husain said it was a car-bomb

    attack, adding that one of the US army vehicles in the convoy had

    been damaged.

    Area sealed off

    Residents said the US army had sealed off the area and announced

    a curfew in the city.

    US and Iraqi troops have also been
    encircling Falluja

    The US-Iraqi offensive on Samarra in early October, which the US military says

    killed more than 150 people, including 20 civilians,

    marked the first major push to take cities from Iraqi fighters before

     

    January national elections.

    US and Iraqi

    troops have also been encircling the city of Falluja, west of

    Baghdad.

    Also on Wednesday, a car bomb exploded on the road to

    Baghdad's international airport, killing the driver

    .

    Hours later, another car packed with explosives detonated 

    beside a convoy of US tanks on the western edge of Haifa Street,

    a known trouble spot in Baghdad, causing no casualties.

    SOURCE: AFP


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