US troops injured in Iraqi attacks

US forces have come under fire in north and central Iraq, the day after occupation troops said they found a large cache of weapons and explosives.

    Occupation forces on patrol in the restive town of Falluja

    A US convoy was attacked on Sunday when an explosive device detonated on a bridge in the town of Falluja, north-west of Baghdad.

    An unknown number of US soldiers and three Iraqis were injured, eyewitnesses told Aljazeera’s correspondent.

    Elsewhere, a US soldier was injured south of Baghdad on Sunday when unknown assailants attacked his car using light weapons on al-Qadisiya highway, witnesses told Aljazeera.

    Baquba mortar attack

    Earlier, American soldiers based in al-Faris airport near Baquba, 50km north of Baghdad, came under attack, residents told Aljazeera.

    US forces and the attackers exchanged fire, they added, and a US tank was damaged by a rocket-propelled grenade. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

    US occupation forces in Baquba
    face frequent shell fire

    Occupation forces in the Baquba have faced frequent mortar attacks, particularly near the US district command post near the town's airstrip.

    The town has been the scene of much violence in recent days. Eight Iraqi civilians were killed and 18 wounded when a bomb fell on the marketplace last Friday.

    Responsibility for the attack was not clear, but local officials said they suspected resistance fighters had fired and missed a nearby US target.

    Weapons haul

    US troops said on Saturday they had found surface-to-air missiles and hundreds of weapons, including plastic explosives, buried in an orchard in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit.

    A US military spokesman described the discovery as one of the most important arms hauls in recent weeks, news agencies reported. He said it showed Saddam loyalists were still equipped to pose a significant threat to US forces.

    Twenty-three Russian-made SA-7 surface-to-air missiles were reportedly found, as well as about 500kg of C-4 plastic explosives, 500 hand grenades, dozens of mortar bombs, hundreds of detonators and more than 100 rocket-propelled grenades. The discovery followed a tip-off from an informant, said the spokesman.

    “This was a significant find, but it’s just one of the numerous weapons caches we know exist around the country,” he said, adding the owner of the orchard was closely linked to the ousted Iraqi president.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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