Blasts in Iraq kill 9 U.S. soldiers

At least 9 U.S. soldiers have been killed in explosions north of Baghdad. Six of them died during a combat operation in Salahuddin when their vehicles were blown up, 3 others lost their lives in a roadside explosion in Diyala.

Meantime, 5 Shi'ite pilgrims streaming on foot to the holy city of Kerbala were killed by a car bomb in central Baghdad.

Sunni Arab insurgents frequently choose to attack Shi'ite pilgrims in what Iraqi officials say is aimed to fuel sectarian war.