From The Washington Post:
BAGHDAD, Aug. 7 -- Iraq's political crisis deepened Monday as five more ministers withdrew from cabinet meetings, delivering a major blow to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's fractured unity government and efforts to reconcile Iraq's warring parties.
Hours earlier, a truck bomb in a Shiite village near the northern city of Tall Afar killed 31 people and wounded scores more, striking an area that was once hailed by President Bush and U.S. military commanders as an oasis of stability, following U.S. operations against insurgents there. Six children were among the dead, police said.
The U.S. military also announced the deaths of nine American soldiers, including four killed in an explosion Monday in volatile Diyala province, where U.S. forces are engaged in a major offensive against Sunni insurgents. The blast injured 12 other U.S. soldiers, the military said in a statement.
One soldier was killed by a sophisticated roadside bomb in west Baghdad on Monday, and another was killed during combat in eastern Baghdad on Sunday, the military said. Three soldiers were killed Saturday when a roadside bomb struck their convoy south of Baghdad, the military announced Tuesday.
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