Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wire: April Deadliest Month for US in Iraq in 7 Months

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

U.S. troops may have to stay in Mosul past deadline.

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2009 -- Newswires reported yesterday that the U.S. death toll for April rose to 18, making it the deadliest in seven months for U.S. forces in Iraq. The sharp increase from the previous month came as a series of bombings also pushed Iraqi deaths to their highest level this year.

In the latest violence, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a restaurant on the reservoir of Iraq's largest dam near Mosul. At least five people were killed and 10 wounded, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.

The Associated Press reported that the spike in attacks has raised concerns that insurgents are stepping up their efforts to re-ignite sectarian bloodshed as well as questions about the readiness of the Iraqis to take over responsibility for their own security as U.S. troops begin to withdraw.

U.S. Maj. Gen. David Perkins blamed the recent bombings on al-Qaida in Iraq, saying the terror network is making a push to regain influence, particularly in Baghdad.

Reuters noted that U.S. troops may have to stay in Mosul beyond a June 30 deadline, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq said on Friday.

A bilateral deal reached last year calls for all U.S. combat troops to pull out of Iraq's towns and cities by June 30 and for all U.S. soldiers to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

Reuters said some analysts have doubted the feasibility of a withdrawal so soon from Mosul, which is still plagued by an active insurgency pitting U.S. and Iraqi forces against al Qaida and other militants.

(Report from newswire sources.)

April deadliest month for US in Iraq in 7 months
U.S. says troops may have to stay in Iraq's Mosul

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