BASRA, Iraq (AFP) – A roadside bomb killed six people and wounded 12 aboard a bus in Iraq’s southern port city of Basra on Sunday, a provincial official said.
The blast had targeted a passing US military convoy, according to Ali al-Ghanimi, the head of Basra provincial council’s security committee, but instead struck the bus and wrecked it.
Women and children were among the casualties of the 10:00 am (0700 GMT) attack near a train station in the al-Maakal district of northern Basra, Ghanimi said, but it was unclear how many of them died or were wounded.
The US military did not immediately respond to requests for comment from AFP on the incident.
Violence has declined dramatically across Iraq since its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common, with 197 people dying as a result of violence in February.
The presence of US forces in Iraq’s streets is also rare — the 50,000-odd troops stationed in the country are mainly tasked with training and equipping their Iraqi counterparts, though they do still conduct joint counter-terror operations.
All US forces must withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year, under the terms of a bilateral security agreement.