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US Soldier Killed in Iraq Mortar Attack

Another U.S. soldier has been killed in Iraq, and at least 17 wounded in three separate attacks, as troops prepared to celebrate America's Independence Day holiday.

A military spokesman says 16 soldiers were wounded in a mortar attack on a U.S. base in the town of Balad, north of Baghdad. He says most of the injured soldiers have already returned to duty, but two were more seriously wounded, and have been evacuated for medical treatment.

Also Friday, the spokesman said, one soldier was wounded in western Baghdad when an explosion rocked his convoy. The spokesman said it is not clear what caused the blast. The Associated Press news agency says three civilians traveling in a nearby car were also injured.

In an earlier attack, the military says, a soldier was shot and killed by a sniper late Thursday, as he was guarding the Iraqi National Museum.

The latest violence erupted as U.S. soldiers in Iraq were celebrating America's Independence Day holiday, despite daily attacks that have continued unabated for the last several weeks.