Monday, May 11, 2009

Five US soldiers shot dead at largest American base in Iraq

BAGHDAD: A US soldier opened fire on his comrades at the largest
American base in Iraq on Monday, killing five soldiers in what was the
single deadliest toll on US forces in a month.

A US defence official in Washington said that at least two others were
wounded in the deadly attack at Camp Liberty in the Iraqi capital.

The details of the shooting incident remained unclear as US television
networks CNN and MSNBC reported that the soldier had turned a gun on

The US military said in a statement that "five coalition forces
members were killed in a shooting at Camp Liberty in Baghdad today at
approximately 2 pm (1100 GMT)."

It said that the incident was under investigation, but provided no
further details of the murders.

The shooting was the deadliest single toll of US forces in Iraq since
April 10 when five American soldiers were killed by a suicide truck
bomb that ploughed into an Iraqi police compound in the northern city
of Mosul.

Attacks by US soldiers on their colleagues are not uncommon in Iraq,
and the last such report was on September 14 when US sergeant Joseph
Bozicevich shot dead two of his superiors at a base south of Baghdad.

Bozicevich, 39, killed staff sergeant Darris Dawson 24, and sergeant
Wesley Durbin 26, because he could not bear being berated by them,
according to reports.

The US military also announced on Monday that an American soldier was
killed in the southern oil hub of Basra on May 10 in a roadside

Monday's shooting brought to 4,293 the number of American losses since
the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, according to an AFP count
based on the independent website

Also on Monday, one of Baghdad's most senior police chiefs was
assassinated in a drive-by shooting, a police official told reporters.

Gunmen shot dead the head of police operations, Abdul Hussein Mohsen
al-Kadhemi, as he was driving in central Baghdad, he said.

In Mosul, considered to be the last urban stronghold of Islamist
militants in Iraq, one policeman was killed and another was wounded
when their patrol came under attack by gunmen.

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