Seven troops die – and toll `hits one million'

The us military last night announced the deaths of seven more troops in Iraq, including four killed by a roadside bomb while patrolling western Baghdad.

The us military last night announced the deaths of seven more troops in Iraq, including four killed by a roadside bomb while patrolling western Baghdad.

Though violence has receded slightly in the capital, a car bomb killed eight Iraqis in a predominantly Shiite district on Saturday, police said. The attack targeted people cooking food at open-air grills in the street, to offer as charity on a Shiite Muslim holiday.

Also on Saturday, gunmen opened fire on a minibus carrying civilians north-east of Baghdad, killing seven men and wounding four others. A roadside bomb also hit an Iraqi police convoy in eastern Baghdad, killing two policemen and wounding five.

Later, police said a mortar round landed near a house in Baghdad, killing a civilian and wounding another.

Police also found an unidentified man's body with signs of torture, dumped in central Diwaniyah.

Six other bodies were found floating in the Diyala river in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. Those bodies also had signs of torture.

Meanwhile, the US military said US troops captured 12 suspected militants in raids across Iraq.

The operations targeted members of al Qaida in Iraq and others suspected of building and planting roadside bombs.

* The number of deaths in Iraq since the start of the conflict could be as high as one million, according to a new estimate.

An Australian scientist published the figure using four sets of independent data, including information from Unicef (the United Nations Children's Fund) and the UN's population division as well as medical literature. Dr Gideon Polya's figure is far higher than the previous biggest estimate of 655,000.

A spokesman for the Stop The War Coalition said: "Four years after the start of the conflict in Iraq we can now see what a disaster the war has been.

"Everything that the Stop The War movement predicted would happen has taken place, but it has been far worse than we feared."

* The total financial cost of the campaign to the British taxpayer is likely to exceed £5bn by the end of this month, according to MoD figures.

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