Baghdad: Iraqi insurgents killed nearly 20 Iraqi, British and American soldiers in the past 24 hours, officials said on Thursday, underscoring how deadly the country remains four years after the US-led invasion.
The attacks took place in Baghdad, near the northern city of Mosul and the southern oil hub of Basra.
Four British soldiers and an interpreter were killed by a roadside bomb that destroyed their armoured fighting vehicle when they were ambushed on the outskirts of Basra, a British military spokesman said.
“The unit was involved in an operation elsewhere. As they were on the way back from the operation, it was targeted by a roadside bomb in conjunction with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades,” he said.
The nationality of the civilian interpreter was unclear.
The British military denied accusations by the Iraqi police that British troops had stormed a police checkpoint close to the scene of the attack shortly afterwards and beaten some policemen.
Six British soldiers have now been killed in Iraq this week, making it one of the deadliest week for British forces.
Gunmen also killed 10 Iraqi soldiers and wounded one in an attack on 5 April 2007 on their checkpoint near Mosul, an army source said.
The source said at least 40 gunmen attacked the checkpoint at dawn, setting their vehicles on fire and seizing their weapons.
Four American soldiers were killed by two roadside bombs in and around Baghdad on 4 April, the US military said.