Fatal blast rocks Sadr City

Four US soldiers and government officials among victims of Baghdad bombing.

    The blast occurred in Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr's stronghold [AFP]

    The area is a stronghold of Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr's al-Mahdi Army and the blast took place as local elections were set to take place.

    "We were to elect new members to replace some of our old colleagues from the movement of Muqtada al-Sadr who recently left the council," a district council member said.

    US officials and soldiers were at the district council office when the attack occurred.

    Suspect held

    The US military said in a statement: "[An] individual was caught by coalition forces fleeing the scene  and tested positive for explosive residue."

    The attack came a day after two American soldiers were killed and three wounded as they were leaving the council office of Madain town to the south of Baghdad.

    The recent decrease in violence in Baghdad and other regions of Iraq has led to an increased presence of US soldiers on the streets which has also made them easier targets for attacks, especially in areas such as Sadr City where US troops fought raging battles earlier this year.

    Hundreds of people were killed when Iraqi and US forces clashed with fighters from the Mahdi Army in Sadr City in March and April  before a truce was declared on May 10.

    The latest deaths of US soldiers bring the overall losses of the military in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion to 4,106, according to an AFP tally based on independent website www.icasualties.org.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.