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2 American Civilians Ambushed in Kuwait; 1 Dead

An American civilian has been killed and another wounded in an ambush near Kuwait City.

The two American men were civilian contractors working for the U.S. military in Kuwait according to American embassy spokesman John Moran in the emirate.

The shooting occurred about 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, local time, just north of Kuwait City at an intersection several kilometers from Camp Doha, where as many as ten thousand U-S troops are stationed to prepare for a possible attack on neighboring Iraq.

The two men were in a Toyota Land Cruiser that was hit as many as 24 times by gunfire. The driver was shot in the shoulder and the leg and is said to be in stable condition at a hospital in Kuwait City after having undergone surgery. His passenger was shot several times and died as a result of his wounds.

Authorities say it appears the gunman or gunmen may have been laying in wait in a nearby agricultural area and ambushed the car with automatic weapons as it was driving by.

No one has claimed responsibility for the shooting. A manhunt is underway.

Several attacks have occurred against Americans in Kuwait since October, the most serious occurring October 8 when two assailants shot and killed a U.S. Marine and wounded another. The Marines were involved in a military exercise on a Kuwaiti island. The two assailants were subsequently shot and killed by other Marines.

On November 21 two Marines were attacked and seriously wounded by a Kuwaiti policeman who had stopped their vehicle.

There have also been several other attacks against Americans in Kuwait in recent months.

Kuwait is seen as being critical to any possible U.S.-led invasion of Iraq because of its location at Iraq's southern border. Thousands more U.S. and British troops are expected to arrive in Kuwait in the coming weeks.

The U.N. Security Council is demanding that Iraq disarm its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons or face "serious consequences." President Bush has threatened war if Iraq fails to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq insists it has no such weapons.

On Monday, Iraqi officials signed an agreement with U.N. weapons inspectors to provide more information about its weapons programs.