Nine Iraqi soldiers killed in roadside bomb blast

Iraqi Police and Army Sources said that nine Iraqi soldiers were killed on Wednesday and six people wounded, including five soldiers, when a roadside bomb destroyed a bus west of the volatile northern city of Mosul.

The soldiers were off-duty and on their way to return to their homes when the bus hit the bomb. Mosul is according to Iraqi police sources one of Al-Qaedas last urban strongholds in Iraq.

Insurgents have launched steady attacks on Iraqi police and troops in recent weeks, while the U.S. military formally ended combat operations in August, 7-1/2 years after the invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.