MOSUL, Iraq – U.S. troops found two more bodies Thursday in the northern city of Mosul (search), and came under attack by rockets, mortars and small arms fire as they recovered the remains, according to the military and witnesses.
The bodies were found in the western part of the city, said Capt. Angela Bowman of Task Force Olympia (search), bringing to 22 the number of corpses found in the past week. The bodies appeared to have gunshot wounds, another military official said.
Before the latest grisly discovery, U.S. troops had found 10 bodies of soldiers— nine of those shot execution-style — who belonged to the Iraqi regular army, based at the al-Kisik military base about 30 miles west of Mosul.
Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad (search), was the scene of an uprising earlier this month during which guerrillas stormed police stations and other buildings, prompting a large offensive by U.S. and Iraqi forces to put them down. The uprising was launched amid a wave of violence coinciding with the U.S. assault on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.
There was no confirmation whether the two bodies found Thursday were Iraqi National Guards (search), but an Associated Press photographer on the scene said one of the men was wearing camouflage trousers.
U.S. and Iraqi troops were hit by mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire as they were retrieving the bodies, according to Lt. Col. Eric Kurilla of the Army's 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment.
The U.S. military spotted at least one team of insurgents firing at them. One Iraqi National Guardsman had minor injuries, according to Kurilla.
A day earlier, five more bodies were found in the western part of Mosul, though there was no confirmation whether the dead had belonged to Iraq's security forces.
Another five bodies, including four decapitated ones, have still not been identified.