At least nine US soldiers have been killed at a military base north of Baghdad in the deadliest single attack against American troops in more than a year. At least 20 more soldiers were injured when a suicide car bomber blew himself up at the patrol base in the volatile Diyala province. Insurgents have been focussing their attacks on provinces outside the capital since the start of a massive US-backed security crackdown in the capital in February. The volatile Diyala province, with a mixed population of Sunni Arabs and Shi’ites, has seen a sharp rise in violence.
Meanwhile, US President George W. Bush has reiterated his intention to veto legislation that would start bringing US troops home from Iraq as early as July. The House and the Senate reached agreement on Monday on the war-funding legislation which faces final votes on Wednesday and Thursday.