- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 30, 2004

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives next to a U.S. convoy on Baghdad’s dangerous airport road yesterday, and several casualties were lying next to a damaged vehicle, witnesses and authorities said.

In the northern town of Beiji, a car bomb exploded near a U.S. patrol yesterday, killing four Iraqi civilians and injuring 19 persons, two of them American soldiers, the military said. Another soldier from the 1st Infantry Division was wounded when terrorists fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a tank south of Beiji.

The attacks came as the military announced that its November death toll — fueled by the offensive against insurgents in Fallujah and insurgent counterattacks — reached at least 135. That is the same number as in April, when the insurgence flared in Fallujah and elsewhere in the so-called Sunni Triangle, where U.S. forces and their Iraqi allies lost a large measure of control.

A U.S. Army soldier died from injuries suffered after a roadside bomb exploded late Monday next to his patrol north of Baghdad.

In the suicide attack, police Capt. Talib al-Alawani said a bomber drove his car into a U.S. convoy on the airport road, scene of near daily attacks against U.S. military and Western targets. The U.S. command confirmed that the attack occurred but gave no further details.

Several casualties were lying next to a damaged vehicle, said an eyewitness who arrived on the scene before troops sealed off the stretch of road where the blast occurred. A military ambulance drove up minutes later to evacuate the casualties.

The highway, which multinational troops use daily to commute between the huge military base at the airport and Baghdad’s center, is considered one of the most dangerous roads in Iraq. The British Embassy announced Monday that its staff no longer would be permitted to travel on the road.

In Beiji, a U.S. military statement said the two attacks occurred about 9:10 a.m., but it did not give the condition of the wounded nor specify whether the car bomb was a suicide attack.

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