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Roadside explosion kills five soldiers in Iraq

September 23, 2012


BAGHDAD: Five Iraqi soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb explosion north of Baghdad on Saturday, Iraqi officials said, as suspected Sunni militants, seeking to undermine the Shia-led government continue to target the country's security forces.  

A police official in Salahuddin province said the attack on a two-vehicle military convoy occurred early in the afternoon near the predominantly Sunni town of Duluiyah, 75 kilometers north of Baghdad.

Four other soldiers were wounded in the blast, the official said.

Doctors in the town's hospital confirmed the death toll. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to speak to the media.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Iraqi government, Ali al-Moussawi, said authorities will conduct random searches of Syrian-bound Iranian planes on suspicion that they might be carrying weapons to the war-torn nation.

Iran is an ally to Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose military has battled opposition forces during an 18-month-old uprising that has become a civil war.

US officials have accused Baghdad of allowing Iran to fly weapons to Assad's forces through Iraqi airspace. Iraq denies the claims.    Al-Moussawi told The Associated Press that Baghdad has informed Tehran of their decision to search Iranian planes, flying to Syria, ''if we have suspicions on the nature of the cargo.''

On Friday, Iraq prevented a North Korean plane from entering its airspace on suspicion it was carrying weapons to Syria.

North Korea is a long time Assad ally.