Suicide bombers target Iraqi police
The US announces further troop withdrawals as Mosul police are killed in blast.
The area was the site of the single deadliest attack since the US-led invasion when, on August 14 2007, four bombers blew up lorries in two nearby Yazidi villages, killing more than 400 people.
In a separate attack in al-Gabat, a village north of Mosul, two police officers were killed when a suicide bomber driving a police car targeted a building housing security officials.
The US military says Mosul, Iraq’s third-largest city, is al-Qaeda in Iraq’s last major urban stronghold.
In other news, the US military announced the withdrawal of another 4,000 troops from Iraq next month.
The military said on Thursday it was pulling out troops deployed as part of a “surge” of forces in February 2007.
The pullout is in line with the plan announced in September to complete the withdrawal of the 30,000 extra troops sent last year.
The US military said that last week had seen the lowest level of violence in four years across Iraq, but gave no casualty figures.
Figures maintained by the independent website www.icasualties.org
show that the number of US fatalities so far this month was 19, the lowest average since the American invasion in March 2003.
The total US losses in Iraq so far are 4,084.
Earlier this month, the US said it had 152,500 troops deployed across Iraq together with an estimated 10,000 troops from other countries contributing soldiers to the US-led coalition.