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Brother of Iraq vice president killed

Pentagon report says Iraqi civilians bear brunt of insurgency

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Gunmen killed the brother of Iraq Vice President Adil Abdul Mehdi and his driver early Sunday in eastern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official told CNN.

Ghalib Abdul Mehdi, who was also an adviser to the Iraqi Ministries Council, and his driver were heading to work when gunmen attacked them.

The driver was killed and Mehdi was taken to a hospital where he died of his wounds, the official said. An official with the vice president's office confirmed Mehdi's death.

On Saturday, an Interior Ministry police official and his guard were killed when five gunmen stormed his home in the Shaab neighborhood.

Seven other Iraqis were killed in three other incidents Sunday in Baghdad, including two policemen who died during an attack on Deputy Trade Minister Qais al-Hasan. The minister and six others were wounded in the attack.

Bombing kills Marine

The U.S. military said Sunday a Marine died of wounds suffered a day earlier in a bombing attack on his vehicle during combat operations near Nasser Wa Salaam, just outside Falluja.

Falluja is in Anbar province, a hotbed of the Sunni-led insurgency, is 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Baghdad.

The Marine was assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

The death brought to 2,015 the number of U.S. troops who have died in the Iraq war, including 82 this month.

The U.S. military death toll surpassed 2,000 last week, and President Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address that "the best way to honor the sacrifice of our fallen troops is to complete the mission." (Full story)

Three U.S. soldiers also died Saturday, authorities said.

Two Task Force Baghdad soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol in a southern part of the capital, the U.S. military said.

The third soldier died after the vehicle he was riding in struck a land mine southwest of Bayji, near Tikrit.

Coalition troops foil ambush

Coalition troops killed six suspected insurgents and detained five other people Saturday night in Taji, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Baghdad on the Tigris River, the U.S. military said.

According to a news release Sunday, coalition troops saw the suspected insurgents in an area where small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade attacks previously had taken place.

The suspected insurgents fired at military helicopters, causing the pilots to return fire, the statement said.

Pentagon says civilians bear brunt

A recent U.S. military report estimates that nearly 26,000 Iraqis were killed or wounded by insurgent attacks from January 1, 2004, through September 16, 2005.

"Approximately 80 percent of all attacks are directed against coalition forces, but 80 percent of all casualties are suffered by Iraqis," the report said.

The figure was extrapolated from a bar graph on page 23 of the report, which shows average daily causalities since January 2004.

The number did not include civilians who may have been killed or wounded in coalition attacks, nor did it include insurgents.

The 44-page report, "Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq," was submitted to Congress on October 13, two days before Iraq's constitutional referendum.

The report said 85 percent of insurgent attacks occurred in four provinces -- Anbar, Baghdad, Nineveh and Salaheddin -- where 42 percent of the population lives.

"Insurgents have learned to avoid head-to-head engagements with coalition forces, using stand-off or hit-and-run attacks instead," the report said. "Improvised explosive devices are the primary insurgent method of attack."

The Web site IraqBodyCount.net, which is operated by a group of volunteers that tracks media reports of civilian fatalities, estimates that between 26,732 and 30,098 Iraqi civilians have been killed since January 1, 2003.

Other developments

  • Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Sunday urged Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari to move Saddam Hussein's half brother Barzan Tikriti to a hospital for "life-saving treatment for cancer." Tikriti, who has been charged with crimes against humanity, last week requested to be released from custody for treatment of spinal cancer. In his letter to Jaafari, Talabani did not support Tikriti's call for release. But, citing a long-standing relationship between the Talabani and Tikriti families, he backed moving Tikriti into a hospital.
  • A pickup truck carrying dates and packed with explosives blew up in a market Saturday in a small Shiite town north of Baquba, killing at least 25 people an Interior Ministry official said. At least 52 people were wounded in the attack that targeted civilians in the town of Hwaider, police said, and shops and restaurants were damaged. (Full story)
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