Two Iraqis, two US soldiers killed in Iraq

  1.jpgFile photo of a cross and rosary hanging in the home of an Iraqi Christian family in central Baghdad. Gunmen killed a Christian woman and a policeman in Baghdad on Monday, an Iraqi official said, while the US military said two soldiers were killed in the first deadly attack in 2011 on US forces in Iraq. AFP – Gunmen killed a Christian woman and a policeman in Baghdad on Monday, an Iraqi official said, while the US military said two soldiers were killed in the first deadly attack in 2011 on US forces in Iraq.
An interior ministry official said gunmen early Monday broke into the central Baghdad home of the Christian woman, Rafah Toma, shot her dead and made off with a number of her possessions.
Toma, who lived alone in Al-Wahda neighbourhood, is the latest victim of a string of attacks on Christians in Iraq, with the official saying she was likely targeted because of her religion.
On Thursday, at least two Christians were killed and 16 others wounded in a wave of bomb attacks on Christian targets in Baghdad, while 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security forces members were killed in an October 31 attack by militants on a Baghdad church.
The interior ministry official, who would not be named, also said that a policeman was shot dead by gunmen with silenced weapons in Taifiya in northern Baghdad. He gave no further details.
The policeman’s death followed a string of similar attacks on Sunday night in which a traffic police colonel, two other police, an army captain and an engineer were gunned down in five separate attacks in Baghdad by gunmen with silenced weapons.
A similar attack left a colonel with the interior ministry severely wounded.
The US military on Monday announced that two US soldiers have been killed in the first deadly attack of the year on American forces in Iraq.
“Two US service members were killed in central Iraq Sunday night,” a statement from the US military said.
“This was one incident resulting in the death of two US service members. These are the first deaths of any US service member in 2011,” a spokeswoman for the military said, without giving further details on how the two were killed, or to which branch of the military they belonged.
The latest deaths brings to 4,432 the number of American soldiers to have died in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein, according to an AFP tally based on data from independent website www.icasualties.org.
According to the website, 60 members of the US military were killed in 2010 — by far the smallest number since 2003.
Some 50,000 US troops remain in the country, but a security accord between Baghdad and Washington requires that they be withdrawn by the end of 2011.

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