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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:47, February 20, 2006
German plane wreckage found in Iraq, nine Iraqis killed in separate incidents
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The wreckage of a German airplane which went missing earlier this week was found in northern Iraq on Sunday with all six aboard dead while altogether nine Iraqis were killed in separate incidents across the violence-plagued country.

The wreckage and the six bodies were spotted in the northern Kurdish province of Sulaimaniyah by local villagers, Kurdish officials said.

Meanwhile, an Interior Ministry source confirmed the findings to Xinhua.

"The authorities of Sulaimaniyah have found the wreckage of the German plane with six bodies on board," the source said on condition of anonymity, citing police reports.

The plane, carrying five Germans from a German construction company and an Iraqi pilot, was en route to Iraq from Azerbaijan and reported missing on Thursday.

The exact cause of the tragedy was not immediately known, but local officials said that there was a snowstorm when the plane crashed in the mountainous area near the Iran-Iraq border.

Meanwhile, nine Iraqis were killed in separate incidents across the country on Sunday.

Unidentified gunmen ambushed a convoy of trucks carrying construction materials to a U.S. military base in northern Iraq, killing four drivers, a source with the Iraqi-U.S. liaison office in Tikrit told Xinhua.

The gunmen also set all the trucks of the convoy on fire and kidnapped an unknown number of the drivers after killing four of them, the source added.

Elsewhere near the restive western city of Fallujah, three Iraqi civilians were killed when U.S. troops opened fire at their car, medics said.

"A U.S. patrol shot dead three civilians, two brothers and a relative, as they were traveling in Ameriyat al-Fallujah area, some 7 km south of Fallujah," a medical source at the Fallujah Hospital told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

In addition, two powerful explosions on Saturday afternoon rocked central Baghdad near the entrances of the heavily-fortified Green Zone, killing two Iraqis and wounding 10 others altogether.

"The first blast occurred when a car bomb parking near a blocked suspension bridge near the Green Zone went off as a convoy of an unidentified Iraqi senior official passed by," Captain Ahmed Abdullah, from Baghdad police, told Xinhua.

The official escaped unhurt, he said, adding that two Iraqi civilians who happened to be close to the bombing scene were killed and six others wounded.

"Following the first blast, a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest blew himself up near an Iraqi army checkpoint located at one of the entrances of the Green Zone," Abdullah said.

The blast damaged four civilian cars and wounded four Iraqi Defense Ministry employees who were heading to office in the Green Zone.

The carefully guarded zone, lying in central Baghdad, houses the Iraqi government and the U.S. Embassy. It has frequently witnessed bomb attacks.

Insurgents often target Iraqi government officials, accusing them of collaborating with the U.S. occupation forces.

Source: Xinhua

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