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Five U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq

  • Story Highlights
  • Five U.S. soldiers killed, four injured south of Baghdad on Saturday
  • U.S.-led coalition forces arrest 30 suspected terrorists in raids throughout Iraq
  • 11 bodies found in Baghdad on Saturday; number is lower than usual
  • Convoy of top Qadisiya province officials hit by roadside device
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Five U.S. soldiers were killed south of Baghdad on Saturday in two separate incidents, the U.S. military said Sunday.

A woman mourns Saturday at a relative's grave in Najaf. Families across Iraq remembered loved ones Saturday.

One soldier was killed by small arms fire while on patrol in southeast Baghdad. The other four soldiers were killed in an explosion during combat operations south of the capital, the military said. Four soldiers were wounded in the blast.

The military said all nine soldiers were part of Task Force Marne, which operates in Baghdad and on the southern outskirts of the capital city.

The latest deaths bring to 3,689 the number of U.S. military personnel who have died in the Iraq war since it began in 2003.

On Sunday the military said U.S.-led coalition forces arrested 30 suspected terrorists in raids throughout Iraq that targeted bombing networks and senior al Qaeda in Iraq leaders.

The raids were conducted in Baghdad, Mosul, Tikrit, north of Karma, south of Tarmiya and northeast of Samarra, the military said.

On Saturday, the governor and police chief of a southern Shiite province in Iraq were killed Saturday when a roadside bomb struck their convoy, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.

The bomb killed Qadisiya province Gov. Khalil Jalil Hamza and Brig .Gen. Khalid Abed Hassan, the provincial police chief.

Three of the governor's bodyguards were slain and three others were wounded. Hamza and Hassan were riding in the same vehicle.

The province has been the scene of some violence between Shiite factions, and U.S.-led coalition forces have taken on militants in the provincial capital, Diwaniya.

The attack occurred in Afak, more than 18 miles (30 kilometers) east of Diwaniya, after the officials attended a funeral for a sheik.

Also Saturday, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other top Justice Department officials arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced trip to assess Iraqi efforts to improve law enforcement and judiciary functions in Iraq.

Gonzales was accompanied by Michael Sullivan, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and John Clark, director of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Gonzales and his entourage are holding a series of meetings with key U.S. military and civilian officials and their Iraqi counterparts seeking to improve security in the war-ravaged country.

The delegation met with some of the more than 200 Justice Department employees stationed with the military in Iraq and with the top U.S. military commander, Gen. David Petraeus.

They also met with the Iraqi Supreme Court chief justice, the interior minister and the minister of human rights.

Gonzales' visit is expected to be brief. He is scheduled to address a police officers convention in Louisville, Kentucky, on Tuesday morning.

Also on Saturday, the bodies of 11 people were found on Baghdad streets, police told CNN.

A total of 173 bodies have been found on the streets of the capital this month. The people are thought to be victims of sectarian violence.

The number of such corpses discovered in the past few days has been lower than usual; six were found Friday and nine Thursday.


There had been strict security and a vehicle ban in the capital through much of the week because of the Shiite pilgrimage to the Kadhimiya shrine in the northwestern part of the city.

Coalition forces targeting al Qaeda in Iraq on Saturday detained two people with suspected links to a July 16 suicide truck bombing that killed 80 people in Kirkuk, the U.S. military said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Terry Frieden and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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