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U.S. Soldier Killed, Four Wounded in Tikrit Attack

U.S. Soldier Killed, Four Wounded in Tikrit Attack

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- An American soldier was killed and four companions wounded Saturday in an attack near Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit north of the capital, a military statement said.

It was at least the seventh U.S. soldier killed in attacks in Iraq over the past two weeks.

Gunmen opened fire on the troops using small arms and a rocket-propelled grenade, said the brief statement released by U.S. Central Command.

The injured troops were evacuated by helicopter and ambulance to medical facilities in the area, the statement said. The names of the soldiers and their unit were withheld to allow notification of relatives.

No further details were available.

Tikrit, which remains a sensitive area as American forces try to keep a fragile peace in postwar Iraq, is located about 120 miles north of Baghdad.

Dozens of U.S. soldiers have been killed or injured in a spate of attacks in central Iraq since the end of the war nearly two months ago.

Of particular volatility is the area around Fallujah, a Sunni Muslim stronghold about 30 miles west of Baghdad. More than 1,500 U.S. Army solders from the 3rd Infantry Division were added to that area last week to prevent unrest and quell attacks on U.S. troops.

Meanwhile, one U.S. soldier died and two were wounded Friday in a road accident about 20 miles north of Baghdad.

A military statement said they were providing security escort to Coalition Provisional Authority personnel at the time of the accident. The wounded soldiers were evacuated to a field hospital for treatment.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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