Roadside bomb kills 4, brings U.S. deaths in Iraq to 4,000

BAGHDAD — The deaths of four American soldiers in a roadside bombing Sunday night pushed the total number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq to at least 4,000, a new milestone to mark the start of the sixth year since the U.S. invasion in 2003. The four soldiers were killed when their patrol struck a homemade bomb at about 10 p.m. Sunday, according to a statement from the U.S. command in Baghdad. Another soldier was wounded.

The deaths came at the end of what had been a bloody day that left at least 57 Iraqis dead and the heavily fortified Green Zone, where the U.S. and Iraqi governments are headquartered, smoking from a barrage of rockets and mortars.

Monday brought more violence, with four Iraqi policemen injured by two roadside bombs in Baghdad and three policemen killed in a roadside bombing north of Baqouba, the capital of troubled Diyala province.

At least five people were injured by the rockets and mortars fired at the Green Zone, according to a statement from the U.S. embassy. The salvo of rounds began at 6 a.m. and continued throughout the day.

Two rockets aimed at the Green Zone Sunday morning strayed from their target and killed five Iraqi civilians and injured at least 12. In the evening and into the night several rockets aimed for the Green Zone fell short, killing seven civilians and injuring at least 11. An entire family of five was wiped out.

Car bombs, shootings and roadside bombs also took their toll.

At noon gunmen sprayed a kerosene plant in southeast Baghdad with bullets, killing seven and injuring at least 16. A car bomb killed five and injured seven at a Baghdad gas station at 3 p.m.

Violence permeated the rest of Iraq, chipping away at U.S. security gains over the last year. West of Mosul 13 Iraqi soldiers were killed in a suicide truck bomb that drove into an Iraqi army base. At least 30 soldiers were injured along with 12 civilians. Inside Mosul, attacks killed one Iraqi officer and injured three Iraqi soldiers and 14 civilians.

In Diyala, a series of attacks by gunmen killed three people. Mortars struck west and east of Baqouba.

In Kirkuk, gunmen shot four Iraqi soldiers and burned their armored vehicle. Three policemen were killed and two civilians injured in a suicide bombing in Salah ad Din province.