BAGHDAD, (Reuters) – A suicide car bomb hit a joint U.S.-Iraqi military patrol in Iraq’s eastern Diyala province on Friday, killing at least eight people including U.S. soldiers, Iraqi security sources said.
Three U.S. soldiers and five Iraqi policemen were killed when a car packed with explosives detonated alongside the patrol near a market in the town of Jalawla, 115 km (70 miles) north east of Baghdad, a security source in Diyala said.
One police source in Diyala said four U.S. soldiers and four Iraqi police officers were killed, and 26 civilians were wounded. Another police source said two U.S. soldiers and four Iraqi police were killed.
The U.S. military did not immediately respond to requests for confirmation of U.S. casualties.
Overall violence in Iraq has dropped sharply since the height of sectarian warfare in 2006-2007, but an inconclusive March parliamentary election has fuelled a spike in bloodshed.
In Baghdad on Friday, a roadside bomb killed two civilians and wounded nine others in the southern Doura district, police said. A car bomb in the capital late on Thursday killed four people and wounded 10.
U.S. forces have pulled out of Iraqi cities and are working to formally end combat operations by Sept. 1, cutting the U.S. military force from just under 90,000 to 50,000. But U.S. military vehicles have been targeted on several occasions in recent days, without U.S. casualties.
On Wednesday, two civilians died when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle rammed into a U.S. army patrol near the small town of Muqdadiya, 80 km (50 miles) northeast of Baghdad.