At least 85 people were killed on Monday by a suicide truck bomb in the volatile Iraqi city of Kirkuk, some of them trapped on a bus where they burned to death, according to a witness. Police also said 180 people were wounded and they warned the death toll could rise from the blast that heightened tension in the northern city.
United States soldiers tightened their cordon around al-Qaeda fighters holed up in the Iraqi city of Baquba on Saturday, advancing carefully through streets lined with roadside bombs and booby-trapped houses. ''We are enveloping the enemy into a kill sack,'' said Command Sergeant Major Jeff Huggins.
United States troops rounded up 60 suspected militants overnight in a security clampdown to stem violence in Baghdad and killed 26 insurgents in a rebel Sunni stronghold west of Baghdad. The sweep through the southern Baghdad district of Arab Jabour targeted a suspected bomb-making cell linked to attacks across the city of seven million.
Almost 2Â 000 bodies were taken to Baghdad's morgue in July, the highest tally in five months of rising sectarian bloodshed that has forced the United States to boost troop levels in the capital to head off a civil war. Morgue assistant manager Dr Abdul Razzaq al-Obaidi said on Wednesday that about 90% had died violently.