US soldiers and aid worker killed in Iraq

Four US soldiers and a charity worker have been killed in a day of bloody violence in Iraq.

    US soldiers are an easy target for resistance fighters

    Three were killed and one was injured in clashes in the Al-Falah area in Mosul on Tuesday, eyewitnesses told Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Iraq.

    One US soldier was killed and another was wounded in an ambush on a road north of Baghdad on Tuesday morning.

    And an International Red Cross aid worker was shot dead and his Iraqi driver was wounded when their car came under fire south of Baghdad on Tuesday afternoon.

    Saddam's sons targeted

    The Mosul killings came after US soldiers attacked a residential area in an attempt to capture Saddam Hussein's sons, Qusay and Uday.

    Lightly-armed resistance fighters exchanged fire with the troops, killing three of them.

    Naufel Al-Shahwani, an Iraqi eyewitness, said US forces encircled the Al-Falah area after being tipped off that Saddam's sons were in the neighbourhood.

    “US helicopters then launched military attacks, firing rockets at
    residential targets, claiming that members of the former regime were based there,” he said.

    “Resistance fighters launched counter-attacks against US forces and then the forces opened fire at hundreds of protesters, injuring a number of them,” he added.

    Protester killed

    Yasser Abu Hilala, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Iraq, said a protester was killed by the Americans when he was shot in
    the head.

    He added: “US helicopters opened fire at the house of Sheikh Nawaf Zeidan, a Sheikh of the Shammar tribe in Mosul, arresting him, his wife, and his 19 year-old son.

    A US soldier was killed in an 
    ambush in Baghdad  

    “The house was then set on fire and completely destroyed. No US helicopters loom over the area anymore, but more than 50 US military tanks are surrounding the house.”

    However, eyewitnesses denied the presence of any significant figures in the area.

    Soldier killed in ambush

    In an earlier incident, a US soldier was killed and another was wounded in an ambush on the road linking Balad to the Ramadi area, the US military said.

    Their convoy was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire at about 05.00 GMT.

    Roadside bombs or attacks with rocket-propelled grenades are now becoming a part of daily reality for US soldiers.

    Meanwhile, The International Red Cross has said in a statement that it does not know who was responsible for the attack on the car which killed one of their workers.

    But the organisation said the car was marked with the Red Cross emblem and could not have been targeted by accident.


    Rising death toll

    The latest American fatalities brings the number of US soldiers killed in action since the beginning of the invasion to at least 157.

    There are no official figures for the number of Iraqi civilians who have died, although the number is thought to be more than six thousand.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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