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2 U.S. soldiers, 12 Iraqi civilians die as Baghdad crisis continues


BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Two American soldiers were killed yesterday in Baghdad, seven Shiite construction workers were gunned down and five Sunni civilians were blown up, deepening the capital's security crisis. Shiite politicians called on the prime minister to cancel his visit to Washington to protest Israel's attacks in Lebanon.

One U.S. soldier died in the second of two roadside bombs that exploded in East Baghdad at mid-morning. An Iraqi civilian was killed by the first blast, police said. Another American soldier died yesterday evening when his patrol was hit with small-arms fire.

The seven Shiite workers were killed and two were wounded when gunmen opened fire on a construction site near Baghdad International Airport, police said. Later yesterday, a mortar shell killed five civilians at a market in the mostly Sunni neighborhood of Amil in west Baghdad, police said.

The violence appeared to be part of the reprisal killings by Sunni and Shiite extremists.

Associated Press

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