Sat, Jul 05, 2003 - Page 7 News List

US soldier killed by sniper, 21 others hurt in attacks

REUTERS , BAGHDAD

A sniper killed a US soldier in Baghdad on Thursday night while a mortar attack on an American military base to the northwest wounded at least 19 others, the US military said yesterday.

Witnesses said two more soldiers were wounded in an explosion in the Iraqi capital yesterday -- the American July 4 Independence Day holiday.

A US military spokesman said that in Thursday's attacks, the sniper shot and fatally wounded the soldier in a Bradley armored vehicle at around 8.30pm in Baghdad.

The soldier was rushed to hospital but died shortly afterwards from his wounds, the spokesman said.

The 19 soldiers were wounded when a base for logistical support forces to the northwest of Baghdad came under mortar attack. The spokesman said the casualty toll was only an initial one.

Witnesses said two US soldiers were wounded yesterday when an explosion targeted a Humvee vehicle on the outskirts of Baghdad.

They said the 8.30am blast damaged the Humvee and an Iraqi civilian car. The soldiers appeared to be lightly wounded, they said.

The attacks are the latest in a spate of increasingly bold guerrilla-style ambushes. In previous attacks on Thursday, 10 American soldiers were wounded in three separate strikes that also killed two Iraqis and wounded a dozen.

US forces have come under daily attacks in recent weeks. Twenty-six American soldiers have been killed in Iraq since major combat was declared over in May after US-led forces overthrew Saddam Hussein. Six British soldiers have died in the same period.

The attacks have continued despite a crackdown by US troops in areas to the northeast and north of the capital, once a hotbed for Saddam loyalists.

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