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U.S. Soldier Killed, Another Hurt in Ambush

July 23, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

BAGHDAD — One U.S. soldier was killed and another was wounded when a convoy of Army vehicles was ambushed by assailants firing rocket-propelled grenades and guns west of Baghdad on Tuesday, as the occupying authority said it shut down a newspaper for inciting attacks.

The soldier attached to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was killed about 9 a.m. on a road between the cities of Ramadi, about 60 miles west of Baghdad, and Balad, to the north of the capital.

It was the 153rd U.S. combat death since the war began March 20.

Iraqi police, meanwhile, shut down Al Mustakila, or the Independent, a Baghdad newspaper, for publishing what a Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman described as an article that incited Iraqis to violence.

"Death to all spies and those who cooperate with the United States," the article said in Arabic, according to the CPA spokesman. "Killing them is our duty."

Coalition officials said they've been liberal about allowing inaccurate and biased articles to be published in Iraq but that the piece violated international law against inciting murder and CPA rules on the Iraqi press. Other publishers have simply been warned, said the spokesman, who asked not to be identified.

"We concluded this was too dangerous ... because of the absolutely crystal-clear incitement to murder," the spokesman said. "We want to see a free Iraqi press. We want to see freedom of speech in this country.... This is a completely different issue here."

An office manager for the newspaper, the only person there at the time of the Monday raid, was arrested, officials said.

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