Ten U.S. Soldiers Killed in Spate of Attacks in Iraq

BAGHDAD – Ten U.S. soldiers were killed in attacks around Baghdad on Thursday, eight of them in a car bomb explosion just south of the capital.

The deaths took to 534 the number of U.S. soldiers killed in action since U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq 13 months ago. About 125 of them have been killed in April, the bloodiest month for U.S. forces in Iraq since the invasion.

The car bomb went off just south of Baghdad near Mahmudia at about 11:30 a.m., the U.S. military said in a statement.

“Initial reports indicate that eight U.S. soldiers were killed and four were wounded,” it said.

The soldiers were all from the 1st Armored Division and the wounded were flown to a Baghdad military hospital by helicopter, it added.

Shortly before dawn, a U.S. soldier was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in eastern Baghdad, a separate statement said.

At around 10 a.m., a roadside bomb killed a U.S. soldier and wounded another in the town of Baquba, 40 miles north of Baghdad. Iraqi police said an Iraqi civilian was also killed in the attack.

With just weeks to go before the United States hands over sovereignty to Iraqis on June 30, U.S.-led forces face a growing insurgency.

New polls showed Iraqi civilian deaths combined with heavy U.S. losses this month have eroded support for President Bush’s war plan both among Iraqis and among the Americans who will vote on his re-election in November.