US Soldier Dies In Iraq, First American Death In Two Months

At least two Iraqis were killed and 12 more were wounded in the latest attacks. A U.S. soldier also died, but it was in a non-hostile event. Meanwhile, U.S. troops helped locals in Halabja disarm a chemical rocket, and the controversial arrests of several Sunnis following a Shi’ite massacre took odd, new twists.

The U.S. military reported the death of an American soldier in a non-combat incident in northern Iraq. No further details were given, but this is the first U.S. military death in Iraq in almost two months. This is also the first death since August, which was the first month since the 2003 invasion to be completely fatality-free for U.S. soldiers.

Authorities in Halabja said U.S. troops detonated an old rocket that was discovered a few days ago. The rocket had been used during a chemical warfare campaign during 1988 and sickened several people when it was unearthed this week.

Four detainees who were arrested following a deadly attack on a bus this week will not be released even though authorities say they were not involved in the Nukhaib Massacre. The chairman of the Anbar Provincial Council said the suspects are wanted on separate criminal charges, including murder. Four others were released yesterday to quash rising sectarian tensions. General Farouk al-Araji, who is the military chief of staff in the Maliki administration, now says that foreign Arabs were behind the massacre.

In Kirkuk, gunmen killed a policeman and wounded two others. A father and son were wounded in a sticky bomb blast.

Six people were wounded in a grenade attack in central Mosul.

An I.E.D. killed one soldier and wounded two others in Abu Ghraib.

In Turkey, one soldier was killed in clashes with Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) rebels in Bingol province, as police arrested 126 pro-Kurdish demonstrators across the country in Istanbul. The P.K.K. is based in northern Iraq. In recent weeks, Turkey has staged several cross-border artillery and air strikes against them.

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Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.