Ten U.S. troops were killed in Iraq on Wednesday, a major blow on the same day a high-level panel in Washington recommended gradually shifting U.S. forces from a combat to a training role.
The U.S. military said in a statement that 10 Americans had died in four separate incidents but gave no further details, pending notification of relatives. Additionally, the U.S. command said two U.S. soldiers were killed Sunday in Baghdad and a Navy sailor was killed in Anbar province on Monday.
In other violence Wednesday, two mortar rounds landed and exploded in a secondhand goods market in a mixed Shiite-Sunni area in central Baghdad, killing at least eight people and wounding dozens, said police officers Ali Mutab and Mohammed Khayoun, who provided the casualty totals.
About 25 minutes later, a suicide bomber on a bus in Sadr City detonated explosives hidden in his clothing, killing two people and wounding 15, police 1st Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said.
It appeared to be the first attack by suspected Sunni Arab insurgents on the large slum since Nov. 23, when a bombing and mortar attack killed 215 people in the deadliest single attack since the Iraq war began more than three years ago.
A total of at least 75 people were killed or found dead across Iraq on Wednesday, including 48 whose bullet-riddled bodies were found in different parts of the capital.
The government also announced the capture of a senior aide to Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.
Mouwafak al-Rubaie, the government's national security adviser, said U.S. and Iraqi forces captured the aide, though he did not specify where or when. He said 60 percent of al-Qaida in Iraq's leadership has now been captured or killed.
Coalition forces have also detained several leaders of Ansar al-Sunnah, an insurgent group allied with al-Qaida in Iraq, Rubaie added.
Doctor testifies he treated chemical attack victims
BAGHDAD - Dr. Faiq Mohammed Ahmed Culpy, a Kurdish surgeon, testified at Saddam Hussein's genocide trial that he treated people with severe burns after alleged chemical attacks by Hussein's regime in the late 1980s.
Two other witnesses, Bakhtiar Hama Said Hama Rashid and Raouf Hussein Kaka Ahmed, testified that Hussein's forces rounded up Kurdish villagers at gunpoint and killed some of them after they failed to surrender to authorities.
Hussein sat silently during testimony.
Hussein and six co-defendants have pleaded innocent to charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in the 1987-88 military campaign against Kurds in northern Iraq. Hussein and one other defendant have pleaded innocent to the additional charge of genocide. If convicted, all could be condemned to death. On Wednesday, one co-defendant blamed the chemical attacks on Iran.
U.S. troop deaths
30: U.S. troops killed so far in December.
69: U.S. troops killed in November.
105: U.S. troops killed in October - the highest monthly toll since January 2005.
2,918: U.S. service members killed since the war started in 2003.