Bomb kills five US soldiers

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The Independent Online

A bomb exploded under a US military vehicle west of Baghdad today, killing five soldiers, the military said. At least four people, including one American and possibly other foreign nationals, were killed in a separate attack and their bodies were burned and mutilated.

The explosive device that killed the Americans blew up when their vehicle ran over it, US Army Colonel Jill Morgenthaler said in Baghdad. The attack occurred in Anbar province, which encompasses Fallujah, Ramadi and other towns where anti-US insurgents are active.

Residents said the bomb attack occurred in Malahma, 12 miles north-west of Fallujah.

In an unrelated attack today, gunmen in Fallujah attacked two civilian cars that residents said were carrying foreign nationals. The occupants of the cars were killed and their vehicles were set on fire. Witnesses saw at least four bodies.

Footage from Associated Press Television News showed a charred body of one of the dead men, and the targeted vehicles in flames nearby. Some of the slain men were wearing flak jackets, said Safa Mohammedi, a resident.

APTN footage showed one American passport near a body.

Another resident, Abdul Aziz Mohammed, said angry crowds dragged the bodies through the streets, dismembered them and hanged some of the mutilated corpses. One man beat a corpse with a metal pole. Residents tied a cord to another body, tied it to a car and drove it down a street.

"The people of Fallujah hanged some of the bodies on the old bridge like slaughtered sheep," Mohammed said. "I saw it myself."

The identities of the slain men were unclear. One resident displayed what appeared to be dog tags taken from one body. Residents also said there were weapons in the targeted cars.