13 Iraqis, two American soldiers, die in Iraq

US forces kill 9 suspected al-Qaida insurgents; in Thursday's deadliest attack, gunmen open fire on bakery, killing nine people.

A series of attacks by suspected insurgents using guns, bombs and mortar shells killed 13 Iraqis in the capital on Thursday, officials said. Two US Army soldiers also died during combat missions. Elsewhere, US ground and air forces killed nine suspected al-Qaida in Iraq insurgents on Thursday during a raid in Youssifiyah, a rural area about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Baghdad, the military said. In Thursday's deadliest attack in Baghdad, gunmen opened fire on a bakery, killing nine people, police said. Such attacks are usually carried out by Sunni-Arab militants since most of the bakeries in the city are run by Iraqis from the country's Shiite majority. Those killed in the shooting at 7:30 a.m. in Baghdad's eastern neighborhood of Zayouna included employees of the bakery and its customers, said police Capt. Mohammed Abdel-Ghani. The attack at the al-Rafidain Bakery left pools of blood on the floor, some containing pieces of Middle Eastern bread that had been dropped and furniture overturned during the panic. "The gunmen stormed into the bakery and killed workers while they were baking. They had done nothing bad," said one man who joined other local residents outside the small store after the attack. He spoke on condition of anonymity out of concern for his own safety. Three civilians and two Iraqi policeman also died in four other attacks in Baghdad on Thursday morning. A roadside bomb exploded at 7 a.m. in another part of Zayouna, killing one Iraqi policemen and wounding three, said police Lt. Bilal Ali. In Amil, a section of western Baghdad, a motorcycle rigged with explosives killed two civilians and wounded one at 8 a.m., said police 1st. Lt. Mutaz Salahhidine. At 8:45 a.m., two mortar shells hit a police checkpoint near the Interior Ministry in eastern Baghdad, killing one policeman and wounding one, said policeman Mohammed Kheyoun. Ten minutes later, a roadside bomb exploded beneath a parked car in Palestine street, a main road in eastern Baghdad, killing one civilian and wounding six, said police Lt. Ali Muhsin. Police also said the bullet-riddled, blindfolded bodies of four Iraqis were found in two locations of eastern Baghdad at 11 p.m. Wednesday and 6:30 a.m. Thursday. Each victim had been tied up and tortured. Scores of Iraqis are kidnapped and killed in this fashion each week in cities such as Baghdad, by militias, insurgents or common criminals seeking ransoms. During the raid in Youssifiyah, U.S. soldiers were demanding that Iraqi civilians exit buildings in a targeted area when they noticed several armed men in a nearby wooded area, the military said. The soldiers called in air support, which opened fire, killing nine suspected al-Qaida in Iraq insurgents, several of whom were later found to be wearing suicide vests, the military said. The soldiers also detained nine other suspected insurgents during the raid, the military said. Two US Army soldiers were killed by small arms fire during combat operations in Iraq earlier in the week, the military said Thursday. A Task Force Lightning soldier assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, died in action Wednesday in Diyala province in northeastern Iraq. On Tuesday, a soldier from the Army's Multinational Corps-Iraq was killed by small arms fire during an operation in Baghdad, the military said. The killings raised the number of American war dead to 2,860. So far this month, 42 American service members have been killed or died in Iraq.