BAGHDAD — A roadside bomb killed two U.S. soldiers in a predominantly Shiite area in Baghdad on Monday, the first deadly attack against American troops in the capital in nearly a month.
At least nine Iraqis also were killed in explosions elsewhere in the Baghdad area, Iraqi officials said, in a grim reminder of the dangers that continue to face security forces and civilians despite significant security gains over the past year.
The U.S. military said another American soldier was wounded when the blast struck a U.S. patrol about 9:30 a.m. in eastern Baghdad. The area was the site of fierce clashes and frequent roadside bombings blamed on Shiite militiamen before a cease-fire by anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
The soldiers were the first to be killed in Baghdad since July 8.
Iraqi politicians, meanwhile, remained in bitter debate over a power-sharing formula for the disputed, oil-rich city of Kirkuk that has blocked passage of a law providing for provincial elections.
The United States hopes the nationwide local vote will stem remaining support for violence by more fairly distributing power among Iraq's rival ethnic and religious communities.
Talks continued late into the night, with the lawmakers facing intense pressure from U.S. and U.N. officials to reach agreement. Parliamentary officials scheduled another legislative session for this morning.
The dispute has shown the sharp differences among Iraq's ethnic and sectarian leaders that have made it difficult for them to compromise on critical issues in the interest of national reconciliation.
It has also raised concern that ethnic tensions could spark new violence and jeopardize recent security gains. That fear was underscored this week by a series of attacks in Baghdad and surrounding areas.
The deadliest attack Monday was against an Iraqi police patrol vehicle in Mahaweel, about 35 miles south of Baghdad. The roadside bombing killed four police officers and three civilian bystanders, according to Iraqi police.