U.S. troops kill 2 local Iraqi officials

September 25, 2005|By Aamer Madhani | Aamer Madhani,Chicago Tribune

BAGHDAD, IRAQ // U.S. troops killed a City Council member and a police captain in the north-central city of Duluiyah after the soldiers came under small-arms fire from the two men, the U.S. military said yesterday.

The attack occurred late Friday, when soldiers assigned to Task Force Liberty were traveling through the city to follow up on a tip that occupants of a house were involved in an earlier attack on a U.S. convoy.

Three men - including the City Council member, Jabbar Ateiya Saud, and the police captain - ambushed the troops as they were en route to the home, a Task Force Liberty spokesman said.

The third man was detained. No U.S. troops were injured, and the city was temporarily placed under curfew from 7:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Maj. Anton Alston, a Task Force Liberty spokesman in Tikrit, said that Duluiyah has been volatile for several days and that the curfew was agreed upon yesterday by local leaders and Iraqi and U.S. forces in an attempt to restore order.

On Tuesday, four private contractors were killed and two others injured in an ambush on their convoy as they passed through the city, Alston said.

"It's been pretty violent for the last several days," said Alston, who did not know the nationality of the contractors.

Duluiyah, a majority Sunni city about 50 miles north of the capital along the Tigris River, has long been a trouble spot for coalition forces: U.S. and Iraqi troops have repeatedly been struck by roadside bombs and come under insurgent gunfire.

In a separate incident in Baghdad, three Iraqi soldiers and two civilians were killed and seven people were wounded yesterday when a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-rigged vehicle near a popular bazaar in Wathiq Square, officials said.

In an Internet posting, al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility.

The attack near the University of Technology shattered windows, collapsed shelves in shops and downed electric wires.

"There was a foot patrol of Iraqi soldiers nearby, when a man driving by approached them and blew up his car," said Ayad Jerjis, 25, a student at the university passing through the area at the time of the bombing.

In the southern city of Karbala, U.S. troops killed a family of four yesterday when the family apparently drove too close to an American convoy, Reuters reported.

And in Basra, anti-British tensions continued to boil over last week's incident involving two British soldiers detained by Iraqi police while apparently on an undercover mission. Yesterday, a judge issued arrest warrants for the two men on homicide charges.

The soldiers were freed in a rescue mission by British forces, who used armored vehicles to breach a prison wall. By some accounts, the soldiers, who were dressed in Arab garb at the time of their arrests, were detained after fatally shooting one police officer and wounding another.

British officials reiterated that the Iraqis have no authority to try the men, according to Iraqi transitional law, which stipulates that coalition forces are immune from prosecution by Iraqi authorities.

In an unrelated incident, a U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb southeast of Baghdad late Friday, the U.S. military announced yesterday.

Aamer Madhani writes for the Chicago Tribune.

Killed in Iraq

As of yesterday, 1,912 U.S. service members have died since the beginning of military operations in March 2003.

Latest identifications:

Army Spc. Scott P. McLaughlin, 29, Hardwick, Vt.; killed Thursday by enemy gunfire in Ramadi; assigned to the Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 172nd Armor Regiment, 42nd Armor Division; St. Albans, Vt.

Army Spc. Travis M. Arndt, 23, Bozeman, Mont.; died Wednesday in a vehicle accident in Kirkuk; assigned to the Army National Guard's 163rd Cavalry Troop, 116th Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division; Missoula, Mont.

Army Staff Sgt. William A. Allers III, 28, Leitchfield, Ky.; killed Tuesday when an explosive detonated near his vehicle near Khalis; assigned to the Army National Guard's 198th Military Police Battalion, 75th Troop Command; Louisville, Ky.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence E. Morrison, 45, Yakima, Wash.; died Monday in Baghdad after an explosion in Taji; assigned to the U.S. Army Civil and Psychological Operations Command; Fort Bragg, N.C.

Army National Guard Lt. Mark H. Dooley, 27, Wilmington, Vt.; killed Monday when an explosive detonated near his vehicle in Ramadi; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 172 Mountain Infantry Regiment, 42nd Infantry Division; Jericho, Vt.

Army Staff Sgt. Regilio E. Nelom, 45, New York; killed Sept. 17 near Asad when an explosive detonated near his vehicle; assigned to the 249th Quartermaster Company, 1st Corps Support Command; Fort Bragg, N.C.

Army Spc. David H. Ford IV, 20, Ironton, Ohio

Army 1st Sgt. Alan N. Gifford, 39, Tallahassee, Fla.

Army Sgt. Matthew L. Deckard, 29, Elizabethtown, Ky.

Killed Sept. 16 when an explosive detonated near their tank in Baghdad; all assigned to the 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division; Fort Stewart, Ga.

[Associated Press]

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