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Day's Death Toll in Iraq at Least 60

September 20, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

BAGHDAD — At least 15 bodies were discovered Tuesday here and in the southern city of Hillah, eight of them behind a gas station in the southeastern part of the capital where they had been left handcuffed together, beaten and shot.

Shootings, bombs and rocket attacks Tuesday claimed at least 45 other victims, including two U.S. soldiers, officials said. A bomb in a parked car detonated Tuesday night near an Iraqi army base in Sharqat, about 50 miles from Mosul, police said today. A suicide bomber then detonated his explosives as a crowd gathered, and at least 21 people were killed, police said.

Violence in Baqubah, 35 miles north of the capital, accounted for several of the other killings.

This morning, a suicide truck bomb slammed into a police headquarters in Baghdad, destroying the building and killing seven policemen, authorities said. One of the Americans was killed Tuesday in Mosul when his vehicle was struck by a suicide car bomber, the U.S. military announced. The other died in Baghdad when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.

The military also announced that an American soldier died Monday in Baghdad of "non-battle-related injuries."

In the southern Shiite city of Basra, British forces raided the house of a prominent militia leader loyal to anti-Western cleric Muqtada Sadr. The militiaman was fatally wounded during his arrest, witnesses said, and British troops returned his body to relatives.

The incident increased tensions in the city. Mortar shells and Katyusha missiles hit a British base and the Iranian Consulate but caused no casualties.

In Washington, the Pentagon notified U.S. lawmakers Tuesday about the possible sale to Iraq of as much as $500 million in helicopters, weapons and vehicles and $250 million in logistics support for those systems.

Congress has 30 days to block the proposed weapons sale, although such actions are rare.

Iraq's requests included more than 10,000 9-millimeter Glock pistols; 50,000 M-16A2 rifles; 1,200 night-vision goggles; 600 light armored personnel carriers; and 20 Russian-built Mi-17 troop transport helicopters, the agency said.

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