Insurgents in Iraq killed nine American troops Thursday in the latest violence in the run up to Iraq's January 30th elections.
Seven of the U.S. soldiers were killed when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Baghdad during a routine patrol. To the west of the capital, in Al Anbar province, two U.S. Marines were killed while conducting security operations.
The attacks came as Iraq's interim prime minister, Iyad Allawi, extended emergency laws for another month. The laws, which have been in place for two months, give Iraq's government the power to impose curfews and restrict movement between cities.
Meanwhile, the French newspaper Liberation, says it has not heard from its Baghdad correspondent, Florence Aubenas, and her Iraqi interpreter in over 24 hours, raising concerns for their safety.