Iraq: US marine, four Iraqis killed as Japan praises Australia decision to dispatch additional troops
A U.S. marine was killed in action while conducting security and stability operations in Anbar province, west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.
The military statement did not give further details about Monday's death, saying only the release of more details could place their personnel at greater risk.
Elsewhere, gunmen targeted a U.S. patrol with a roadside bomb Tuesday that killed four nearby civilians in the northern city of Mosul. Morgue officials in southern Iraq, meanwhile, said they had received a half-dozen corpses of Iraqi army soldiers, each with bound hands and bullet-riddled heads and torsos.
In a related development, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi hailed Tuesday Australia's decision to send additional troops to the southern Iraqi city of Samawa during talks with visiting Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.
"Although it was a very controversial decision, we decided to do so to secure security in Iraq and prevent the terrorists from achieving victory in the country," Downer told Koizumi.
In February, Australia announced that it will send 450 to 470 more troops to southern Iraq to help protect Japanese forces involved in humanitarian relief and maintain security there.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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