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The surge, President George W. Bush claims, is working in Iraq. This may come as a surprise to the soldiers and Iraqi civilians who die daily from stepped-up attacks from insurgents.
While Bush and Congress posture, each morning brings renewed reports of attacks and death.
Reports The Associated Press:
A suicide car bomb attack on an Iraqi army checkpoint in northern Iraq killed at least nine soldiers Thursday, police said.
The attack occurred at about 9 a.m. in Khalis, 50 miles north of Baghdad, a police officer said on condition of anonymity out of concern for his own safety. Ten Iraqi soldiers and five civilians were wounded, the officer said.
The city is located in Diyala province, which has seen some of the worst violence recently as mostly Sunni militants are believed to have fled to the area since U.S. and Iraqi troops launched a security crackdown in Baghdad on Feb. 14.
On Wednesday, four Iraqi police officers were killed when a suicide bomber struck a police station in the Diyala city of Balad Ruz, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad.
Two days earlier, a double-suicide bombing struck a paratrooper outpost in the province, killing nine U.S. troops. An al-Qaida-linked group claimed responsibility.
In other violence on Thursday, two suicide bombers attacked an office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Massoud Barzani, leader of the autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq, killing three of its guards and wounding five, police said.
The casualties could have been higher if guards had not opened fire on the two attackers, forcing them to detonate their explosives at least 50 yards from the office, police said.
The attack occurred at about 8 a.m. in Zumar, a town that is 45 miles west of Mosul, the capital of Ninevah province. It was the second suicide attack this week aimed at the KDP in that area.
On Monday, a suicide car bomber attacked a KDP office in another town near Mosul, which is 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, killing at least 10 people and wounding 20.
In a separate attack in Mosul on Monday, suspected insurgents assassinated a local KDP official in a drive-by-shooting, police said.