Tabassum Zakaria
March 18, 2008

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday declared the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq a “successful endeavour” during a visit to Baghdad, on the same day a woman suicide bomber killed 40 people.

“If you look back on those five years it has been a difficult, challenging but nonetheless successful endeavour … and it has been well worth the effort,” Cheney, an architect of the invasion, said after meeting Iraqi leaders.

The Iraq war is a major issue in the U.S. presidential campaign. Entering its sixth year this week, it has cost the United States $500 billion. U.S. Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton said on Monday the final bill could be $1 trillion.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis and nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed. The military said two more soldiers died on Monday when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle near Baghdad.

In a northern district of the capital, six children were killed when a mortar round hit their home, Iraq’s military said.

Shortly after Cheney spoke, a woman wearing a suicide vest blew herself up in a cafe in the southern holy Shi’ite city of Kerbala, killing 40 people and wounding 71, police and health officials said. Bombs in Baghdad killed four and wounded 13.

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