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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Insurgents Kill 2 U.S. Soldiers at Base in Iraq

BAGHDAD -- Two U.S. soldiers were killed and 17 wounded when insurgents launched a coordinated attack on an outpost north of Baghdad on Monday in what appeared to be one of the biggest such assaults in months.

The attack, in which the military said insurgents used a suicide car bomber, came as tens of thousands of U.S. and Iraqi forces fanned out across the capital in a new crackdown on rampant sectarian violence.

A spokesman for the U.S. military in Baghdad said the assault took place against an outpost north of the capital, but declined to provide more specific information on its location.

"It was not just a spontaneous attack. It wasn't just people taking potshots at us," U.S. Major Steven Lamb said.

Insurgents rarely mount coordinated attacks against U.S. bases.

A U.S. military statement said U.S. soldiers secured the area and evacuated the wounded. It was not known whether any insurgents were killed.

One day after two bombs killed 60 people in a Shiite market in Baghdad in the bloodiest assault since the crackdown began on Wednesday, militants kept up the pressure with a string of attacks that killed more than 30 Iraqis in and around Baghdad.

U.S. military officials had warned that militants could strike in areas outside Baghdad while U.S. and Iraqi forces focus their efforts inside the capital.

At least 10 people died in bombings in the capital, underscoring again the challenge of stabilizing the city that is the epicenter of Iraq's bloodletting.

Violence also flared to the west and north of the capital, leaving more than 20 people dead including 13 members of one family ambushed near Falluja on their way home from a funeral.

In Monday's deadliest attack, suspected al-Qaida militants pulled the family of mourners from a minibus in daylight and gunned them down, including two young boys, after finding out they were from a Sunni tribe opposed to al-Qaida, police said.

In Ramadi, Anbar's capital, two suicide bombers killed 11 people when they targeted the house of Sattar al-Buzayi, a tribal leader who has led a government-backed effort to fight al-Qaida.

One suicide car bomb hit the blast walls outside his house, then a bomber blew up his truck near the house, witnesses said.

To the north of Baghdad, a suicide car bomber targeting the house of an Iraqi Army chief killed five people, including a soldier, and wounded 10.

In central Baghdad, four people died when a bomb tore through a minibus in Karrada district, a mostly Shiite area where Christians also live. In Baghdad's southern suburb of Zaafaraniya, also a Shiite area, twin roadside bombs targeting a police patrol killed six people and wounded 40 others, police said.

On Friday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite under pressure from Washington to rein in violence in Iraq, had trumpeted what he called the "brilliant success" of the crackdown.

More than 110,000 Iraqi and U.S. security forces are taking part in Operation Imposing Law, aimed at curbing rampant sectarian violence by Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.

U.S. generals, mindful of a similar crackdown last year that failed, have been more cautious and warned that any respite in violence might be temporary as militants adapt their tactics.