4 U.S. soldiers killed as Iraq vote looms

BAGHDAD, Iraq – A roadside bomb killed four American soldiers Tuesday, and gunmen assassinated a candidate for Parliament in this week’s election.

The U.S. ambassador, meanwhile, said Tuesday the total number of abused prisoners found so far in jails run by the Shiite-led Interior Ministry came to about 120. The statement by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad reinforced Sunni Arab claims of mistreatment by security forces, a major issue among Sunnis in the election campaign.

U.S. military deaths

The latest identifications reported by the U.S. military of personnel recently killed in Iraq:

Army Sgt. 1st Class James S. Moudy, 37; Newark, Del., died in Baghdad on Sunday when an explosive detonated near his vehicle; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

Army Sgt. Julia V. Atkins, 22, Bossier City, La., died in Baghdad on Saturday when an explosive detonated near her vehicle; assigned to the 64th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas.

Army Sgt. Clarence L. Floyd Jr., 28, Newark, N.J.; died Saturday when his unit came under attack in Taji; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.

Army Sgt. Adrian N. Orosco, 26, Corcoran, Calif.; killed in a suicide car bombing Friday in Baghdad; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Irwin, Calif.

Army Sgt. Spencer C. Akers, 35, Traverse City, Mich.; died Thursday of injuries received when an explosive detonated near his vehicle in Habaniyah on Nov. 21; assigned to the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment, Saginaw, Mich.

Army Staff Sgt. Milton Rivera-Vargas, 55, Boqueron, Puerto Rico; died Thursday in Kalsu; assigned to the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 296th Infantry Regiment, Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico.

Army Staff Sgt. Travis L. Nelson, 41, Anniston, Ala., and Army Sgt. Kenith Casica, 32, Virginia Beach, Va.; killed by small-arms fire Saturday in Baghdad; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.

Army Staff Sgt. Keith A. Bennett, 32, Holtwood, Pa.; died Sunday in Ramadi in an attack; assigned to the Army National Guard’s 28th Military Police Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Johnstown, Pa.

Army Spc. Lex S. Nelson, 21, Salt Lake City; died Monday in Tikrit when he fell from a guard tower; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

Army Spc. Jared W. Kubasak, 25, Rocky Mount, Va.; died Monday in Baghdad when an explosive detonated near his vehicle; assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo.

Khalilzad said the United States would “accelerate the investigation” to determine who was responsible for abuses.

Despite the violence, more than 1,000 Sunni clerics issued a religious decree instructing their followers to vote Thursday, boosting American hopes the election will encourage more members of the disaffected minority to abandon the insurgency.

Three of Iraq’s leading politicians agreed in a debate Tuesday that a speedy withdrawal by foreign troops before Iraqi forces are ready would cause chaos.

But the three – former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani and Sunni Arab politician Tariq al-Hashimi – disagreed on the description of U.S. and other foreign troops. Barzani described them as “forces of liberation,” while al-Hashimi said they were occupiers.

Iraqis living outside the country began voting Tuesday in the United States and 14 other countries. Strong turnout was seen in polling stations around the world, including in Syria, Jordan and Iran, where reporters said they witnessed heavier turnout compared with Iraq’s January elections.

In an encouraging sign, more than 1,000 Sunni clerics issued a religious edict, or a fatwa, on Tuesday urging their followers to vote.

“We hope, God willing, that Iraqis will not miss the opportunity to vote and to avoid being marginalized,” Sheik Ahmed Abdul Ghafour al-Samaraie said on Al-Arabiya television.

A U.S. military statement said four soldiers from Task Force Baghdad died in a blast northwest of the capital, but did not specify the location. That brought to at least 2,149 the number of U.S. service members to have died since the start of the war in 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Elsewhere, gunmen killed Sunni Arab candidate Mezher al-Dulaimi as he was filling his car at a gas station in Ramadi, an insurgent stronghold 70 miles west of Baghdad.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Mt. Baker visible from the summit of Mt. Dickerman on a late summer day in 2017. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Hornets pester hikers on popular Mountain Loop trails

“You cannot out run the stings,” one hiker wrote in a trip report. The Forest Service has posted alerts at two trailheads.

A view of a 6 parcel, 4.4 acre piece of land in Edmonds, south of Edmonds-Woodway High School on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Housing authority seeks more property in Edmonds

The Housing Authority of Snohomish County doesn’t have specific plans for land near 80th Avenue West, if its offer is accepted.

Nursing Administration Supervisor Susan Williams points at a list of current COVID patients at Providence Regional Medical Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of Providence patients in medical limbo for months, even years

About 100 people are stuck in Everett hospital beds without an urgent medical reason. New laws aim for a solution.

Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Pilot dead in ultralight plane crash at Arlington Municipal Airport

There were no other injuries or fatalities reported, a city spokesperson said.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
County Council delays vote on requiring businesses to take cash

Concerns over information and enforcement postponed the council’s scheduled vote on the ordinance Wednesday in Snohomish County.

A girl walks her dog along a path lined with dandelions at Willis D. Tucker Community Park on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Spraying in Willis Tucker Park resurfaces debate over herbicides

Park staff treated about 11,000 square feet with glyphosate and 2,4-D. When applied correctly, staff said they aren’t harmful.

One of Snohomish County PUD’s new smart readers is installed at a single family home Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
PUD program seeks to make energy grid smarter for 380K customers

The public utility’s ConnectUp program will update 380,000 electric meters and 23,000 water meters in the next few years.

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

Most Read