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3 Americans die; bombings kill 14 Iraqis

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Times Staff Writer

Three U.S. soldiers were killed this week in northern Iraq, the military said Thursday; meanwhile, 14 Iraqis died in bombings in Baghdad and northeast of the capital.

Two American soldiers died Wednesday when an explosive device detonated near their vehicle in the city of Mosul, about 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, the military said. Two other soldiers were wounded in that attack.

Another U.S. soldier, on patrol north of the city of Samarra, about 70 miles northwest of the capital, died when a bomb ripped apart his vehicle.

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The blasts raised the number of U.S. military fatalities in October to 39, the lowest monthly total since March 2006, when 31 died, according to the website icasualties.org.

In Baghdad, a bomb went off in a line of cars carrying men to join a new neighborhood watch group for the Sunni Arab district of Adhamiya in east Baghdad. Five people were killed and 11 wounded. The men were on their way to sign up with a group modeled after units organized elsewhere in the capital to fight Al Qaeda-linked militants and guard against Shiite Muslim militias.

Two more explosions struck in Diyala province, where U.S.-led forces in June retook the city of Baqubah from Sunni extremists. A bomb hit the convoy of Faris Umeiri, police chief of Balad Ruz, about 75 miles northeast of Baghdad, killing five of his guards and wounding eight others. The other bomb was detonated in the town of Sadiyah, about 100 miles northeast of the capital, killing two Iraqi soldiers and a pair of civilians. The bombings were in an area known for attacks by the militant group Al Qaeda in Iraq.

And the Associated Press reported Thursday that Iraqi police said three officers had died and another had been wounded after U.S. military helicopters opened fire Wednesday in support of a ground patrol targeted by gunmen in an area south of Baghdad. The U.S. military confirmed that soldiers had come under fire and that air support had been called in, but said an investigation was underway into the rest of the incident near Salman Pak, an area with a mixed Sunni and Shiite population.

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ned.parker@latimes.com

Times staff writers Saif Rashid, Wail Alhafith and Raheem Salman and special correspondents in Diyala province and Baghdad contributed to this report.


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