2 GIs, Allied Sunni Leader Killed In Iraq

U.S. Army soldiers from Hawk Company, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, patrol in a village near Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles north of Baghdad in Iraq's volatile Diyala province, Aug. 2, 2008.
AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo
A roadside bomb killed two U.S. soldiers in a predominantly Shiite area in Baghdad on Monday, the first deadly attack against American troops in the capital in nearly a month, and gunmen killed one of the senior leaders of a U.S.-allied Sunni group fighting militants south of the capital.

The U.S. military said another American soldier was wounded when the blast struck a U.S. patrol at about 9:30 a.m. in eastern Baghdad. The area was the site of fierce clashes and frequent roadside bombings blamed on Shiite militiamen before a cease-fire by anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

The soldiers were the first to be killed in Baghdad since July 8, when a roadside bomb killed Spc. William McMillan III, a 22-year-old Army medic from Lexington, Ky., and wounded five other soldiers in the western neighborhood of Amariyah, a Sunni area.

As of Monday, Aug. 4, 2008, at least 4,131 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

A member of the U.S.-allied Sunni group said Tuesday that gunmen had attacked the convoy of Sheik Ibrahim al Karbouli in Youssifiyah on Monday. Six of the Sunni leader's guards were also killed in the ambush.

He was a senior leader of the so-called awakening council in the town, which is a former al Qaida stronghold about 12 miles south of Baghdad.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity out of fears for his own security.

Al Qaeda has frequently mounted reprisal attacks against awakening councils because of their success in cutting into support for the terror movement among Iraqi Sunni Arabs.

Meanwhile, more than 80,000 facilities in Iraq will be inspected for faulty wiring as part of an effort to prevent future accidental electrocutions of U.S. troops, the top commander in Iraq said.

At least 10 U.S. soldiers, five Marines and a third-country contractor for the Defense Department have been identified as having died by electrocution in Iraq.

Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, spelled out the extent of the review that began last month in a letter to Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., that was released Monday by Casey's office. Casey had questioned what changes had been made following the death of a Green Beret from Pittsburgh, Sgt. Ryan Maseth, who was electrocuted while showering.

Petraeus said a team was named to oversee the review of more than 80,000 facilities, which include 6,000 pre-existing Iraqi facilities. All are maintained by the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, which Petraeus said performs operations and maintenance on 61 bases in Iraq as well as smaller combat outposts and security stations.

The team will also develop repair and prevention plans, Petraeus said.

Casey said in a statement the inspections "should have been taken a long time ago," but he was pleased that Petraeus was making the changes.