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US Soldier Dies in Roadside Blast in Northern Iraq - 2004-02-17


The U.S. military in Iraq says one American soldier was killed and another wounded in a roadside bomb blast in the northern town of Tall Afar late Monday.

The military says the soldiers were traveling in a convoy, which was hit by what the military calls an improvised explosive device -- a term generally used for homemade bombs.

Earlier Monday, two American soldiers were killed by separate roadside bombs in and near Baghdad, and an Iraqi child died in a grenade explosion outside a school in the capital.

Meanwhile, Iraqi officials announced that police had arrested five Iraqis in connection with the assassination last year of a member of the U.S.-backed Governing Council.

Interior Ministry officials said (Monday) the suspects, whom they did not identify, were arrested earlier this month in the city of Amarah -- some 300 kilometers southeast of Baghdad.

Iraqi Governing Council Member Akila al-Hashimi was shot several times when unidentified gunmen ambushed her car last September 20th. She died five days later. Ms. al-Hashimi had also served under Saddam Hussein's ousted regime.

In another development, a senior U.S. military officer in Iraq said Saturday's attack on police in Fallujah appears to have been carried out by Iraqi supporters of Saddam Hussein's ousted regime.

The top U.S. Administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, had said earlier that foreigners "were apparently involved" in the raid -- which claimed 25 lives.

Information for this report is provided by Reuters and AFP.

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