Elsewhere in Iraq, at least five American soldiers were killed in insurgent attacks on Friday and Saturday, the American military command said. One soldier was killed on Saturday when his patrol was struck by a bomb planted on a road south of Baghdad, officials said. Four other soldiers were killed in attacks on Friday, the military said: two when their patrol was hit by a homemade bomb and small-arms fire in northwestern Baghdad; one by small-arms fire during a combat operation in the capital; and one while on a combat mission in Anbar Province, in western Iraq. In another development, an American Special Operations unit has killed a Shiite militant suspected of organizing a sophisticated attack on a government compound in January that left five American soldiers dead, several senior military officers said Saturday. The suspect, Sheikh Azhar al-Duleimi, was killed in a firefight after American troops raided a house in northern Baghdad on Thursday night, the officers said, in speaking in separate interviews. The raid was prompted by intelligence that al-Duleimi had recently returned from Iran, they said, where he had fled after the January killings. In that attack, nine to 12 men dressed in American uniforms drove a convoy of sport utility vehicles into a government compound in Karbala, killing one soldier and abducting four others. Those four soldiers were killed shortly afterward as the police pursued the attackers. Fingerprints taken from al-Duleimi’s body matched those found in one of the captors’ vehicles. “We think he was the leader on the ground in the assault,” said an officer with access to reports on the raid. The Bush administration has long asserted that the killings were carried out by Shiites with closes ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and cited the case as an example of possible retribution by Tehran after Iranians suspected of carrying out attacks on American and Iraqi forces were detained last year.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BAGHDAD, Iraq – Gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms dragged 15 Shiite Kurds into the street in an eastern Iraqi village and shot them dead on Saturday, Iraqi government officials said. Residents of the village, Hamid Shifi, had posted guards at the entrances to the town, apparently anticipating an attack by Sunni Arab insurgents who had been increasingly active in the area, according to a police commander in Baquba, the capital of Diyala. But the guards waved the gunmen through their checkpoints, thinking they were authentic soldiers, the police official said. The gunmen grabbed the guards, dragged several other men from their homes and killed them all, the official said. “Our area was very quiet and there was no violence until a month ago when some Sunnis helped Qaida find a safe haven in nearby villages,” said Ahmed Qasim Mula, a village resident, according to a statement he provided to the police.
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- Gunmen posing as soldiers drag 15 Kurds into street, shoot them