Jihadists Behind Attack That Killed Nine Soldiers

An Iraqi jihadist group is claiming responsibility for one of the deadliest suicide attacks against U.S. troops in more than a year.

The victims were all from the Army's 82nd airborne division, based at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The claim of responsibility by the Islamic State of Iraq appeared today on a jihadist Web site. The Islamic State of Iraq is an umbrella group believed to include many separate Sunni insurgent formations, including al-Qaida in Iraq.

The attack took place on a U.S. patrol base at an Iraqi school near the town of Baquba in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad. According to local residents, the patrol base first came under fire from insurgent snipers several hours before sunrise. Then, according to the U.S. military, a driver rammed a truck into concrete blast walls protecting the base.

The ensuing explosion opened up the way for a second suicide attacker, also driving a truck, which exploded close to the school. The building collapsed, killing some of the Americans inside.

The Islamic State of Iraq's claim of responsibility could not be confirmed independently. The posting on the site said the attack killed 30 American soldiers, a claim the U.S. military denied.

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