Bomb in Baghdad kills woman, 2 children

A bomb exploded outside a Baghdad home early Tuesday, killing a woman and two of her young sons. North of the capital, a car bomb targeted a convoy carrying a Samarra city council member's son, killing a security guard. The latest violence came after the U.S. military reported the deadliest day in almost three months for American service members in the Iraq war. Ten American troops died, five of them Marines killed in a vehicle accident in a remote, rain-soaked area west of Baghdad .

Three more Americans two Marines and a sailor were still missing after the truck overturned near Asad air base. Tuesday's bombing in the mostly Shiite neighborhood of New Baghdad hit shortly after 7 a.m. , killing the woman and the two boys, ages 9 and 12. A third son, age 13, was wounded, as were two brothers of a different family living in the same home, police said.

The car bomb exploded in Samarra as the 19-year-old son of a city council member left home in a convoy. A security guard and a driver were killed, and three other guards wounded in the blast, police said. In southern Iraq , gunmen killed a policeman and wounded another as the two were driving in the city of Basra , police said.

Police discovered three corpses, apparent victims of the sectarian violence gripping Iraq . Two were found near a highway in western Baghdad 's mostly Sunni neighborhood of Khadra, both handcuffed and showing signs of torture. The other, also handcuffed, was found floating in a small river about 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of the capital, police said.

The continuing violence made talks to form a new government even more urgent. Iraqi politicians have been at a stalemate for months, primarily due to disagreement over who the country's next prime minister should be. Sunni and Kurdish politicians have demanded that Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari step aside as the Shiite nominee for a second term, and cracks are starting to show in Shiite support for him as well.

Adnan al-Dulaimi, a Sunni Arab politician, on Tuesday said the Iraqi Accordance Front was still insisting on a different nominee and hoped to hear back from the main Shiite bloc in a few days. A prominent Shiite legislator told Lebanese television that prospects for al-Jaafari were not looking good.

"In my belief, there is no way left (for al-Jaafari), considering that other parliamentary blocs are still closing doors ... and the constitutional choices in Dr. al-Jaafari's hands do not enable him to win the legal quorum in order to receive a new mandate as prime minister," Jalaladin al-Saghir said. Rising tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims have led to a marked increase in Iraqi civilian deaths. At least 1,038 civilians died last month in war-related violence, according to an Associated Press count.

The AP count showed at least 375 Iraqi civilians killed in December, 608 in January and 741 in February. Most of the increase appeared a result of a sharp rise in the number of civilians found dead throughout Baghdad the apparent victims of sectarian reprisal killings. Meanwhile, U.S. casualties had appeared to be on the decline, with last month the least deadly month for American troops since February 2004. But 14 troops had already died in the first three days of April nearly half the number who died in all of March.

Ten troops died on Sunday, according to U.S. military and Department of Defense reports released Monday. Five died in the vehicle accident, when their truck overturned near Asad air base in Anbar province. Four others three Marines and a sailor were killed by "hostile fire" in the same province, the military said. No further details, including the precise location, were released. The tenth, Army Pfc. Jeremy W. Ehle of Richmond , Va. , was killed when his patrol came under fire near Hit, 140 kilometers (85 miles) west of Baghdad . Ehle, who arrived in Iraq last month, was part of the Army's 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division stationed in Friedberg , Germany .

That many American troops had not died in a single day since Jan. 7, when 18 troops were killed, according to the Web site icasualties.org. As of Monday, at least 2,344 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Elsewhere, police said three Iraqi army officers were arrested in connection with an attack on an oil pipeline in Hawija, 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Baghdad , last week. The Iraqi government also announced in a statement the arrest in Anbar province of five "terrorists," including two Sudanese who came in through Jordan . No other details were provided, reports the AP.

N.U.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team