Two GIs among six dead in Sadr City blast

June 24, 2008 at 8:35 AM
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BAGHDAD, June 24 (UPI) -- U.S. officials said two U.S. soldiers and a pair of embassy employees were among six people killed Tuesday from a bomb blast in Baghdad's Sadr City area.

Another coalition soldier and three members of a local district council were injured in the explosion that targeted a municipal building in the Sadr City slum. Officials said a suspect in the blast was apprehended fleeing the scene, CNN reported.

Sadr City is a stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr and the scene of some of the most intense fighting in Iraq in recent weeks. A truce was reached between the Iraqi government and militias loyal to Sadr, but sporadic violence aimed at perceived Shiite collaborators is continuing, the network said.

"This was the fourth meeting of this district council, led by hard-working Iraqis determined to make a difference and set Sadr City off on the right path," U.S. Army Lt. Col. John Digiambatista told CNN. "(Sadrist forces) are afraid of progress and afraid of empowering the people."

Elsewhere, coalition troops killed what U.S. military officials called a senior al-Qaida In Iraq leader in the northern city of Mosul, where operations against the militant Sunni Arab faction have been stepped up.

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