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Two Mortar Attacks in Iraq Kill 3 US Soldiers - 2004-03-18


The U.S. military in Iraq says three American soldiers were killed and nine others wounded in two separate attacks late Wednesday.

Military officials say two army soldiers were killed and six wounded when insurgents fired mortar rounds into a U.S. military compound in the town of Balad, about 70-kilometers north of Baghdad.

They say one Marine was killed and three wounded in another mortar attack in the town of Qusayba near the Syrian border.

In Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, three people were reported killed and a number of others wounded in an attack today (Thursday) apparently targeting employees of an Iraqi television station (Diyala Television) funded by the U.S. -led coalition authority.

Meanwhile, rescue workers say there are no more survivors in the rubble of a central Baghdad neighborhood shattered by a massive car bomb blast Wednesday.

U.S. military authorities said 27 people were killed and dozens of others were wounded in the blast that destroyed a hotel and badly damaged several nearby buildings.

Iraqi officials say one British man was among those killed.

The Baghdad car bomb attack coincided with the start of a new U.S. operation to combat anti-coalition insurgents in the city.

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney blamed the blast on "thugs and assassins" and vowed they will fail in preventing the rise of democracy in Iraq.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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