US marine dies from ''non-hostile'' cause as al Qaeda-linked group claims killing of IGC chief

Published May 19th, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

A US Marine died Tuesday in western Iraq due to "non-hostile" causes, the US military announced. 


The Marine was assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary 

Force in Anbar province, which includes Fallujah, Ramadi, 

Qaim and other centers. 


The military initially reported that the Marine was killed 

in action but later said the death was due to 

"non-hostile" causes. No further information was 



Meanwhile, in a separate development, a group with links to al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack that killed Iraqi Governing Council head Ezzedine Salim.  


A statement by the Jama'at al-Tawhid and Jihad group, posted on an Islamist website, said Saudi national Abu Salama al-Hegazy carried out the attack.  


The statement said, "This operation announces to Muslims everywhere that the mujahideen, with their people in Iraq, are continuing and determined to lift the humiliation from our nation."  


The statement did not say whether the attack which killed Salim on Monday was a suicide bombing. 


For their part, American officials in the country have said that a car bomber carried out the Baghdad attack.  


A group calling itself 'Arab Resistance Group - al-Rashid Brigades' has previously said that two of its members had carried out the operation. 


Salim took over as the head of the governing council at the start of May, and was only due to hold the position for a month. He was buried on Tuesday following a ceremony at the US-led occupation headquarters in Baghdad. ( 


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