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Two U.S. Soldiers Are Killed in Iraq

October 30, 2003|From Times Wire Services

BAGHDAD — The killing of two U.S. soldiers north of Baghdad and scores of other attacks within the last week have driven the combat death toll during the occupation of Iraq higher than the number killed in action before President Bush declared an end to active combat May 1.

The two 4th Infantry Division soldiers were killed and a third was wounded late Tuesday near Balad when their tank apparently hit a mine, division spokeswoman Maj. Josslyn Aberle said Wednesday.

The deaths brought to 117 the number of U.S. troops killed by hostile fire since May 1. A total of 114 were killed in action between the start of the war March 20 and the end of April.

Elsewhere, seven Ukrainians were wounded Tuesday night in the first ambush against the multinational force patrolling central Iraq, officials said Wednesday.

Two armored personnel carriers rolled over mines near Suwayrah, about 40 miles south of Baghdad. After the vehicles were disabled, gunmen opened fire on the Ukrainian soldiers, a spokesman for the multinational division at Camp Babylon said.

About 1,650 Ukrainians serve in the Polish-led force patrolling a swath of central Iraq south of the capital.

Continuing violence has prompted some organizations to cut back their operations. U.N. officials said Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to withdraw all 15 remaining international staff members from Baghdad. A spokeswoman called the pullout a temporary one for consultations on security. No decision on their return had been made.

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