BAGHDAD – Roadside bombings and gunbattles across Iraq killed nine U.S. servicemen, officials said Wednesday, bringing the American death toll for the month to at least 80. Last month, 104 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq.
Also Wednesday, a homicide bomber blew up a cafe frequented by police east of Baghdad, killing 22 people, and another bomber attacked two brothers who were part of an anti-Al Qaeda alliance, killing 10 people, police said.
Six of the soldiers who died Tuesday were killed by roadside bombs and the seventh was felled by small arms fire. The military said only that the two Marines were killed in combat operations in Anbar province.
Violence continued to plague the country Wednesday.
In the town of Mandali, on the Iranian border 60 miles east of Baghdad, a homicide bomber walked into a packed market cafe and blew himself up, killing 22 people and wounding 13 others, police said.
The cafe in the mixed Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish city, was usually frequented by police, but no police officers were there at the time, police said. Police said a man of in his 30s wearing a heavy jacket despite the heat was seen walking into the cafe just seconds before the blast.
In another devastating attack, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the house of two brothers who were supporting a Sunni alliance opposed to al Qaida in the Anbar province, killing 10 people, including the men, their wives and their children, police Lt. Col. Jabar Rasheed Nayef, said Wednesday.
The attacker, a 17-year-old neighbor, broke into the house of the two men, Sheik Mohammed Ali and police Lt. Col. Abed Ali, and detonated his bomb belt about 11 p.m. Tuesday in Albo Obaid, about 60 miles west of Baghdad.
The targeted men were part of the Anbar Salvation Council, a group of local Sunni tribal leaders who had banded together with government support to fight Al Qaeda, Nayef said.
Two mortar rounds slammed into Baghdad's Shiite neighborhood of Karradah, killing six people and wounding more than a dozen others, police said. One shell hit a house, while another exploded in a residential area near the national theater, police said.
Gunmen drove into a commercial area in central Baghdad and opened fire on shops, killing four civilians and injuring 14 others, police said. The attack broke out about 10:30 a.m. in the Khulani neighborhood near a historic Shiite mosque. A joint patrol of U.S. troops and Iraqi security officers drove off the attackers, police said.
Also Wednesday, a parked car bomb exploded in a parking lot in the town of Jbala, about 45 miles south of Baghdad, killing three civilians and wounding 15 others, police said.
In the turbulent city of Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, a roadside bomb hit a car carrying two Kurdistan Democratic Party officials, killing both men and one bystander, police said. A third KDP official was killed in a drive-by-shooting in Zumar, 45 miles northwest of Mosul, police said.