Sun, Dec 14, 2003 - Page 7 News List

US soldier killed, two wounded by booby-trap bomb

SUNNI SURPRISE The bombs, often hidden under rocks, inside dead animals or in car wrecks, are being used with lethal effect in Iraq

AFP , BAGHDAD, IRAQ

Another US soldier has been killed and two more wounded by an "improvised explosive device" or booby-trapped bomb in the rebellious Sunni belt west of Baghdad, a military spokesman said yesterday.

A convoy from the 82nd Airborne Division ran into the favored weapon of the anti-coalition forces on Friday near Rama-di, a day after a suicide bomber blew up a truck at the task force's headquarters on the edge of the town, killing one and wounding 14.

"At approximately 6:30am yesterday [Friday] Task Force All American was attacked with IED [improvised explosive device] near Ramadi," 100km west of the capital.

"Three soldiers were wounded. They were medivaced to the 28th Combat Hospital in Baghdad, where one soldier died," later in the day, the spokesman said.

The death brought to 197 the number of US soldiers who have died in fighting in Iraq since President George W. Bush declared major combat over on May 1. More than 2,200 US troops have also been wounded over the same period.

An IED wounded two Polish sappers on Friday in a coalition convoy south of the Iraqi capital, a multinational force spokesman said.

"We can confirm an attack against coalition forces. There was an explosion from an IED and one Polish soldier is seriously wounded and one lightly wounded," he said.

Both soldiers are members of an explosives ordnance disposal team.

An IED, usually camouflaged by the roadside, also killed an Iraqi police officer on Friday at Hawsa, 50km south of Baghdad, as a US convoy passed nearby.

The booby-trap bombs did not appear in Iraq until the middle of July, but have since been used across the country, often with lethal effect and capable of reducing an all-terrain vehicle to a lump of molten metal.

Camouflaged as an ordinary pile of rocks, stuffed inside the carcass of a dead animal or hidden within bits of car wreckage, IEDs have slowed US troop movement and made many roads unsafe.

The military spokesman also announced yesterday that a US soldier from the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad had died at 3:20am on Dec. 12 from "non-hostile gunshot wounds."

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