Sniper kills US soldier in Iraq as Bush lashes out at critics

Published June 17th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

A U.S. soldier on patrol in northern Baghdad was killed by a single shot from a sniper, the military said Tuesday. The attacker escaped from the area as the soldier collapsed on the ground.  

 

Earlier, an explosion in a Baghdad tunnel injured four people amidst a US military campaign to root out resistance in western Iraq. 

 

The blast on Monday took place as a taxi was passing through the tunnel beneath Tayaran Square in central Baghdad.  

 

The driver, Sabah Shameel, 53, was taken to Baghdad's al-Kindi hospital for treatment, where doctors said they amputated part of a finger. Three passengers sustained minor injuries.  

 

US troops, who were patrolling nearby, said the blast was deliberate but could not immediately confirm its cause.  

 

"We are not sure if it's a bomb or a land mine," First Lieutenant Christopher Scherrpa said, cited by AFP. The blast was apparently the latest in a spate of attacks targeting US troops in recent days.  

 

In another development, U.S. troops carried out Monday raids in Baghdad and near the cities of Tikrit and Kirkuk. According to a statement by the Central Command, all in all, American forces have detained 371 people during their current operation to capture Saddam Hussein loyalists.  

 

Meanwhile, US president George Bush angrily took aim at mounting criticisms of his case for war, slamming those he labeled "revisionist historians."  

 

US-led forces have yet to locate conclusive evidence backing Bush's central case for launching war - that Saddam possessed chemical and biological weapons, pursued nuclear arms, and might one day have armed “terrorists” with them.  

 

The US Congress is looking into US intelligence assessments leading up to the war, with opposition Democrats claiming they were exaggerated.  

 

"This nation acted to a threat from the dictator of Iraq. Now there are some who would like to rewrite history; revisionist historians is what I like to call them," Bush said.  

 

In London, the government announced that British UN ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock would take over as Blair's special envoy to Iraq later this year.  

 

The fluent Arabic speaker, a key diplomatic player in the run-up to the March 20 US-led invasion, is to replace John Sawers, who takes over in September as political director of the Foreign Office in London.  

 

"It goes without saying that the prime minister holds Jeremy in high regard and has been hugely impressed by his work at the UN, particularly during the negotiations on Iraq," a spokesman for Blair said. (Albawaba.com)

© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)


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