Iraq blast kills 6 in oil-rich Basra

March 7, 2011 - 0:0

BASRA (AP) – A roadside bomb killed six people and wounded 12 Sunday morning in the oil-rich city of Basra in southern Iraq, local officials said.

A police officer in Basra and a morgue official confirmed the death toll from the blast in the city's Maqal area, 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad.
Another police officer said the bomb hit a bus after it missed a passing U.S. army patrol. He put the death toll at three, but there was no way to immediately reconcile the difference in numbers. Conflicting reports on casualties are common in the immediate aftermath of attacks.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information.
Under the 2008 security agreement between the U.S. and Iraq, all American troops must leave Iraq by the end of next December and the U.S. operations will shift to the State Department. There are now fewer than 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
The U.S. troops are not intended to have a combat role, but they still come under attack on an almost daily basis.