A suicide car bomb in Falluja

Seven American Marines and three Iraqi guardsmen were killed by a suicide car bomb Monday as they patrolled on the outskirts of Falluja, the U.S. military said. The explosions sent the engine from the car used in the bombing "a good distance" from the site, The Associated Press reported, quoting a military official on condition of anonymity. Two Humvees were destroyed in the attack, witnesses told the AP. The car pulled up alongside the Marines' military transport vehicle before it exploded, military authorities in Falluja said. The attack marked the largest number of casualties U.S. forces have suffered in a single incident since fighting in the spring near Ramadi. Falluja is a Sunni Muslim insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad and the scene of repeated flare-ups. Also Monday, the Coalition Press Information Center said some 240 improvised explosive devices have been found and disabled in the holy Wadi al-Salem cemetery and along roads in the Old City of Najaf, informs CNN. According to the NEWS, A car bomb killed seven US Marines and three Iraqi soldiers outside the city of Fallujah yesterday, bringing the total number of American dead since the US invasion of Iraq in March last year close to 1,000. An apparent suicide bomber blew himself up nine miles north of Fallujah, which has been controlled by Iraqi insurgents for the past six months, destroying two Humvee vehicles. The force of the explosion hurled the engine "a good distance" from the blast site, a military official said. Four Iraqis were wounded when soldiers fired from the site of the bombing. The deaths of the Marines from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force brings the death toll for members of the US military in Iraq since March 2003 to 985, the US Defence Department says. Some 7,000 US soldiers have been wounded in Iraq over the same period. Seven US Marines were killed in a bomb attack near Fallujah yesterday in one of the worst days of US military casualties since the war in Iraq was declared over in May last year. And in an embarrassing climbdown, the interim government in Baghdad said a man arrested Sunday was not Saddam Hussein’s trusted lieutenant Izzat Ibrahim Al-Douri. The car bomb attack, 15 km north of Fallujah, also killed three Iraqi policemen and destroyed two Humvees, witnesses said. Medical teams in helicopters swept into the dusty, barren site to ferry away the injured, and troops sealed off the surrounding area. The force of the bomb sent the vehicle’s engine “a good distance” from the site, a military official said on condition of anonymity. Four Iraqis were wounded by fire from US troops near the site of the bombing, said Ahmed Bassem of the Fallujah General Hospital. The US military was unable to immediately confirm the report. With yesterday’s deaths and those of two US soldiers in a mortar barrage outside Baghdad a day earlier, 985 US service members have died since the beginning of military operations in Iraq in March 2003, according to the Defense Department. US forces have not patrolled inside Fallujah since April, when US Marines ended a three-week siege. The city has since fallen into the hands of insurgents who have used it as a base to manufacture car bombs and launch attacks on US and Iraqi government forces, publishes the Arab News.

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