Bus Bombed; 2 GIs Dead In Iraq

Iraqis stand around a minibus that was blown up by a suicide bomber in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Sept. 23 2005. AP

A suicide bomber detonated hidden explosives on a small bus in Baghdad on Friday, killing at least five people, and two American soldiers died in separate attacks, authorities said.

One of the Americans died in a roadside bombing between the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, while the other was killed by small arms fire in Ramadi, the U.S. military said. The suicide bomber struck while on the public bus in a bustling, open-air bus terminal, killing five people and wounding eight, police said.

The deaths raised to 1,912 the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq since the war began in 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

President Bush, , acknowledged the loss of American lives and said, "We'll honor their sacrifice by completing the mission and winning the war on terrorism."

He added that withdrawing American forces from Iraq would make the world more dangerous and allow terrorists "to claim an historic victory over the United States."

In an interview Thursday, the Saudi Arabian foreign minister said if U.S. troops pulled out now, Iraq would dissolve into civil war. Prince Saud al-Faisal also said he was worried that divisions among Iraq's Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni factions were too great.

"We have not seen a move inside Iraq that would satisfy us that the national unity of Iraq, and therefore the territorial unity of Iraq, will be assured," Saud said.

In related developments:

  • In Baghdad, gunmen killed two members of the commission charged with ensuring former members of Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime were banned from the Iraqi hierarchy, police said. Their deaths raised to 14 the number of commission members killed since the 323-member Supreme National Commission for de-Baathification was created two years ago.

  • Violence erupted in Basra this week after the detention of two British soldiers and their rescue by forces that battered down prison walls with armored vehicles. The violence has produced an angry standoff between the British force and some members of the government.

  • On Thursday, Gov. Mohammed al-Waili said violators of Iraqi sovereignty would face unspecified punishment. But later, he said he was negotiating with the British and the dispute was "about to be solved and the crisis ended." Iraqi and British officials have sought to play down the difficulties between Basra authorities and the 8,500-soldier British force.

  • The U.S. military also said an American soldier died Wednesday night of injuries sustained in a vehicle accident near Kirkuk. The death raised the U.S. death toll since the war started in March 2003 to 1,909, according to an Associated Press count.

  • Also Thursday, a bomb hidden in a parked car exploded near a U.S. military convoy on a road about 11 miles south of Baghdad, slightly wounding one soldier, Abrams said.

  • The Army private who appeared in those infamous photos of prisoner abuse in Iraq appeared in court Thursday in Texas. Lynndie England could get eleven years in a military prison if convicted. The 22-year-old West Virginia reservist is charged with seven counts of prisoner abuse and conspiracy.

    • Joel Roberts

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