BAGHDAD — Three U.S. soldiers and their translator were killed Monday during combat operations in Diyala province, the U.S. military said.
The mostly rural province, 40 miles north of Baghdad, remains one of Iraq's most volatile areas, where Sunni insurgents are fighting against Iraqi and U.S. forces. The U.S. military did not provide further details about Monday's incident.
The attack came two weeks after a suicide car bomb killed four U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter in the northern city of Mosul, the deadliest assault against U.S. troops in nine months. As in Diyala, Mosul remains a stronghold of the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaida in Iraq and other organizations, whose members are waging a fierce guerrilla campaign.
Iraq's Interior Ministry, meanwhile, announced the arrest of a Shiite police gang accused of killing the Sunni vice president's sister in 2006 as part of a string of kidnappings and slayings. Maysoun al-Hashemi, the sister of Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, died in a hail of gunfire on April 27, 2006, as she left her home in Baghdad.
The 12 people arrested were former employees of the ministry, said Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, a spokesman. The Interior Ministry has been accused of past infiltration by Shiite militias who carried out some of the worst sectarian violence.
Also Monday, gunmen attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint in western Baghdad, killing three soldiers and wounding eight other people, according to police. In central Baghdad, a roadside bombing apparently targeting a police patrol killed at least two civilians and wounded six, police and hospital officials said.