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Militants Wore US-Style Uniforms in Karbala, Iraq Attack and Abduction


The U.S. military now says some American soldiers were abducted and killed in a recent raid by insurgents wearing U.S.-style uniforms. The sophisticated attack hit a command post in the Iraqi city of Karbala a week ago. VOA's Jim Randle reports from Baghdad, where new details of the incident are emerging.

The military says four U.S. soldiers were abducted during the attack. All four were later found some distance away, some were handcuffed; all had been shot and were dead or dying.

The troops were captured in a night raid on a command center in Karbala, south of Baghdad.

U.S. military officials say the attackers, wearing distinctive U.S.-style camouflage uniforms and driving vehicles very similar to those used by U.S. officials, carried American-style weapons and spoke English to pass Iraqi-guarded checkpoints.

Once inside the compound, between nine and 12 raiders began shooting and throwing grenades. An additional U.S. soldier died in the fighting, three others were wounded.

Violence continued Saturday in Baghdad. Iraqi officials say two car bombs exploded in a commercial area of a mostly Shi'ite neighborhood in the eastern part of the capital, killing a number of people and wounding others.

Officials say gunmen dressed in Iraqi uniforms abducted eight people from an electronics store in a separate incident in a Shi'ite neighborhood.

Iraqi officials say the number of insurgent attacks on Shi'ite neighborhoods in Baghdad has increased ahead of a planned crackdown on militants.

On the political front, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani Saturday in Baghdad to discuss the security situation there and efforts at reconciliation.

Pelosi, an opposition Democrat, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Friday, and said the two leaders now better understand each others' point of view.

Mr. Maliki apparently repeated a pledge to confront "outlaws," regardless of their religious or political affiliation.

The House speaker also met with U.S. troops.

"We are proud of you, we appreciate your patriotism, your courage, the sacrifice that you are willing to make," she said.

Democratic Party lawmakers are preparing to start debate in the U.S. Senate next week on a nonbinding resolution stating that President Bush's proposed troop increase in Iraq is not in the national interest.

In the meantime, strife in Iraq was a key issue Saturday at the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. That is where Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd Al-Mahdi spoke briefly with reporters.

REPORTER: "Is peace in Iraq achievable?"

AL-MAHDI: "Yes, of course."

Officials and politicians from Iraq and many other nations participated in a forum on Iraq and the future of the Middle East.

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