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35 US Troops Wounded in Mortar Attack Outside Baghdad - 2004-01-07


U.S. officials in Iraq say 35 American troops were wounded Wednesday in a mortar attack west of Baghdad.

They say six mortar rounds hit U.S. Logistical Base Seitz. Officials say the soldiers were given first aid and evacuated from the base for further medical treatment.

Few other details were immediately available.

Meanwhile, Iraq's U.S.-led provisional authority plans to release 100 prisoners today (Thursday) as a goodwill gesture. The detainees will be the first group of more than 500 prisoners the authority plans to free. They were detained as low-level security threats. The coalition holds some nine-thousand people in detention.

U.S. administrator Paul Bremer announced the releases Wednesday, saying the coalition hopes allowing some detainees to return home will encourage reconciliation in Iraq.

Mr. Bremer added that the releases would not include prisoners who have been involved in killings or causing serious injuries to any Iraqi citizen or member of the coalition. Mr. Bremer said the Coalition Authority would also try to make it easier for relatives to visit those who remain in detention.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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