Resistance bomb adds to US deaths

A US soldier was killed and two wounded on Wednesday when a bomb exploded near the highway just west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

    US troops in Ramadi increasingly nervous

    US Specialist Jose Colon told reporters how one of the trucks in his convoy blew up instantaneously.
       
    Colon added one of the injured soldiers had only narrowly escaped death a couple of days before in another convoy ambush.

    No let-up in Ramadi

    More than six explosions were heard in Ramadi early on Wednesday, near the Presidential Palace in which US troops are garrisoned.

    Aljazeera’s correspondent in the city believed the explosions to be mortar attacks, but this is unconfirmed and no casualties have been reported.

    At one point in the early hours, attacks near the American al-Anbar Headquarters in Ramadi increased to the extent that US soldiers began firing in all directions using machineguns, the correspondent added.
        
    Resistance fatalities in Fallujah

    Earlier, US troops shot dead a number of attackers involved in a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) ambush west of Baghdad, the US military said on Wednesday
     
    "Soldiers from the Third Infantry Division defeated a substantial RPG ambush at approximately 1:30 am in Fallujah", military spokeswoman Specialist Nikki Trent said in a statement.
     
    There were "a number of attackers," she said, adding that all were killed, but refusing to give casualty details.

    But local residents in the town of Habbaniya, between Fallujah and Ramadi, said five Iraqis were killed by US troops in what seemed to be the same incident.
     
    Locals also told Aljazeera that a US armoured vehicle was destroyed by three RPGs and that US soldiers returned fire with heavy automatic weapons, killing the five assailants. 
     

    Ramadi lit up throughout the
    night during the last two weeks

    Fallujah, around 50 kilometres from Baghdad, has seen regular attacks on US troops since soldiers shot dead at least 16 civilian protesters in late April.

    Accidental death

    Over night, a US Marine died after falling from a building in the town of Hilla south of Baghdad, the US military said on Wednesday.
      
    The Marine from the First Expeditionary Force passed away after falling off the rooftop where he was on guard, Trent said. The town of Hilla is 80 kilometres from the capital.
      
    The US claims that at least 49 soldiers have died in accidents or other non-combat-related incidents since 1 May, when the United States declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq.
      
    Political developments

    A tribal council in Falluja has refused to recognise the present Interim Iraqi Council as it stands, expressing their disappointment at its members and what they represent.

    The statement came on Tuesday as tribal representatives held a meeting to discuss the formation of the US-selected Interim Council of 25 members, chosen from different ethnic and religious backgrounds.

    It urged "Iraqis and their leadership to oppose any plot to partition the country" and called for "free and direct elections" that would produce "a democratic Iraq."
      
    The statement also rejected "any attempt to sever Iraq's affiliation to the Arab world," saying the just-formed residents League backed "an independent and united Iraq".

    Meanwhile, The Interim Council has decided to form two committees, one to start investigating war crimes of the former Iraqi government. The second to seek the return of property confiscated from those that opposed the previous government.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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