Bomb kills 15 Iraqi soldiers, wounds 20: army sources

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 14, 2011 3:11 AM
Bomb kills 15 Iraqi soldiers, wounds 20: army sources

FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - A bomb attached to a military bus killed 15 Iraqi soldiers and wounded 20 others when it went off at an army base in western Iraq on Wednesday, army sources said.

They said the explosion occurred inside an Iraqi military base in Habaniya, near the town of Falluja around 85 km (50 miles) west of Baghdad.

"The soldiers finished their academic training and a bus took them to have breakfast at the restaurant in the base. When the bus reached the restaurant it exploded," one of the sources said.

In a separate incident, at least 25 people were wounded when a bomb exploded by restaurants and coffee shops in the town of al-Hamza, just south of Hilla, 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, police sources said.

Bombings and killings occur on a daily basis in Iraq more than eight years after the U.S.-led invasion, although violence has dropped from the peak of sectarian fighting in 2006-07.

Assaults on the country's army and police have been rising as they prepare to take sole responsibility for security ahead of an expected full withdrawal of U.S. troops by year-end.

Iraqi politicians are trying to decide whether to ask Washington to leave some troops in Iraq after December 31 to continue to train the army and police.

In August, 45 police and 39 soldiers were killed, according to figures from the interior and defense ministries.

(Reporting by Fadhel al-Badrani in Falluja and Habib al-Zubaidi in Hilla; Writing by Serena Chaudhry; Editing by Mark Heinrich)