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US military: Bomb kills American soldier in Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Iraqi Chaldean Christians attend the Sunday Easter mass at Baghdad's Virgin Mary Church on April 12, 2009 (AFP)

Iraqi Chaldean Christians attend the Sunday Easter mass at Baghdad’s Virgin Mary Church on April 12, 2009 (AFP)

BAGHDAD (AP) – A roadside bomb killed an American soldier north of Baghdad on Sunday, the U.S. military said, the sixth U.S. combat death in the last three days.

The Easter Sunday bombing reflected still-persistent dangers across Iraq, despite a sharp drop in U.S. battle deaths since 2007.

A statement said the soldier, assigned to Multi-National Division, North, was mortally wounded in a roadside bombing in Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad. No further details were released.

Five U.S. soldiers were killed Friday in a suicide truck bombing in the northern city of Mosul. It was the biggest loss of U.S. life in a single blast in more than a year.

At least 4,272 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Also Sunday, Iraq’s dwindling Christian community celebrated Easter services, taking advantage of the improved security in Baghdad and other parts of the country.

About 200 Iraqi Christians packed the Virgin Mary Church in Baghdad’s Karradah district to attend Easter mass. At the U.S. military base Camp Liberty just outside the Iraqi capital, about 100 American troops also attended an Easter sunrise service.

Since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, Christians have frequently been the target of attacks by Islamic extremists, forcing tens of thousands to flee the country. Fewer than 3 percent of Iraq’s 26 million people are Christians, the majority of them Chaldean-Assyrians and Armenians, with a small number of Roman Catholics.

The exact number of Christians left in Iraq is unclear but they are thought to number several hundred thousand. “God protect us and rid our country of disputes and quarrels, let it be free of hatred and hostilities,” one of Iraq’s senior Christians, Chaldean Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, said during the Easter service in Baghdad’s Mansour district, broadcast on state Iraqiya television.

An Iraqi police officer guards Baghdad's Chaldean Catholic Virgin Mary Church on April 12, 2009 (AFP)

An Iraqi police officer guards Baghdad’s Chaldean Catholic Virgin Mary Church on April 12, 2009 (AFP)

An Iraqi policeman (L) and U.S. soldiers secure the Saint John the Baptist Chaldean church during Easter mass in Baghdad's Doura district April 12, 2009 (REUTERS)

An Iraqi policeman (L) and U.S. soldiers secure the Saint John the Baptist Chaldean church during Easter mass in Baghdad’s Doura district April 12, 2009 (REUTERS)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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