Two US troops killed in Baghdad area attack; 115 soldiers die since end of major combat
Two U.S. soldiers, from the 4th Infantry Division, were killed and one was wounded when their tank was hit by an explosive north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Wednesday.
The three crew members of the Abrams tank were on their way to a guard post when the undetermined explosive struck them Tuesday night near Balad, 45 miles north of Baghdad, according to the division spokeswoman, Maj. Jossyln Aberle.
The wounded soldier was evacuated to a U.S. military hospital in Germany, she said. It was believed to be the first M1 Abrams main battle tank destroyed since the end of major combat May 1.
Following this attack, updated Defense Department figures show 115 U.S. soldiers have been killed since May 1 when President George W. Bush declared an end to major fighting. That compares with 114 killed in the active combat phase, which started on March 20.
Meanwhile, seven Ukrainian soldiers were injured when Iraqi resistance fighters attacked their patrol in southern Iraq, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
Two armored personnel carriers with 17 Ukrainian troops were ambushed Tuesday night near As Suwayrah, northwest of their base at Kut in southern Iraq, said Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Kostiantyn Khivrenko, according to The AP. Three mines exploded under the vehicles, and Iraqi fighters then opened fire.
Elsewhere, a US military post in the northern city of Kirkuk was hit by five Katyusha rockets, Iraqi police reported Wednesday.
"A US position located behind the technical college at the entrance of Kirkuk was hit by five Katyusha rockets," said Lieutenant Ammar Hassan al-Abbadi, according to the AFP.
A school in Kirkuk was also hit by a mortar and a bomb exploded in front of a dry cleaners used by the US forces, Abbadi added. (Albawaba.com)