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Dozens of Civilians, Several US Soldiers Die in Iraq - 2004-04-24

A series of attacks across Iraq Saturday has killed at least 29 civilians and seven coalition soldiers. Two sailors were among the coaltion casualties when a suicide bombers launched three boat attacks on oil terminals in the Persian Gulf.

Insurgents fired rockets at a coalition base in the Iraqi town of Taji, some 20 kilometers north of Baghdad.

U.S. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt says several soldiers died in the attack.

"We had four soldiers killed in action and seven wounded at that time," he said. "Subsequent reports indicate that one of the soldiers died of wounds, so the number is now five soldiers killed and six wounded."

General Kimmitt also said talks are continuing with Iraqis in the Sunni Arab stronghold of Fallujah, but he said progress has been one-sided, and the people of Fallujah are being, in his words, "held hostage by a small number of dead-enders."

Elsewhere in Iraq, a roadside bomb explosion some 50 kilometers south of Baghdad struck a bus, killing more than a dozen Iraqis, according to hospital officials. The bus was on its way to the Iraqi capital, and was traveling just ahead of a U.S. military convoy.

Also on Saturday, a series of rocket attacks struck a house and a crowded outdoor market in Sadr City, a largely Shiite suburb of Baghdad. Local hospital officials said at least a dozen people were killed. And in the northern city of Tikrit, a suicide bomber exploded a car near a U.S. Army base, killing at least three people. There was no word on who was behind the attacks.