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3 More US Soldiers Killed in Iraq - 2003-11-23


Three U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq in two separate incidents, as anti-coalition insurgents continue to target troops and Iraqis working for the coalition.

In one incident, two U.S. soldiers were killed in the northern city of Mosul as they were driving in a convoy from one military base to another within the city.

Witnesses say gunmen opened fire on three of the vehicles, causing one of them to crash. Assailants then approached the damaged vehicle and slashed the soldiers' throats.

The U.S. military says it cannot verify details of the attack until families of the soldiers have been notified.

In the second incident, a soldier was killed and two others wounded by a roadside bomb in the town of Baqubah, 65 kilometers northeast of the capital, Baghdad.

Baqubah, in the restive Sunni Triangle area of central Iraq, was the site of the first of two deadly, near simultaneous suicide bombings Saturday that targeted U.S. trained Iraqi policemen. Later that evening in Mosul, gunmen fatally shot an Iraqi police colonel as he headed to a mosque.

Coalition military spokesman Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said attacks against the police, aimed at disrupting Iraqi reconstruction and stability, are not working. "The fact that they are all coming back to work, the fact that they are all still doing their job, the fact that they are still providing security on the streets of their cities. I think that is an encouraging sign," he said.

Also Sunday, Iraq's Governing Council chose an Iraqi-American woman to be the new ambassador to the United States.

A spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority, Dan Senor, said U.S. administrator Paul Bremer welcomed the appointment of Rend Rahim Francke, who until recently led the Washington-based pro-democracy group, Iraq Foundation. "He thought this was very good news. Mrs. Al-Rahim had spent the better part of her career as an activist and an opponent of Saddam Hussein's regime. Now she will be a voice, activist and leader on behalf of the new Iraq, representing this country abroad," he said.

The appointment renews diplomatic ties between Washington and Baghdad, severed in 1990 after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

Meanwhile, civilian flights to Baghdad have been temporarily suspended for a security review following Saturday's apparent missile attack on an Airbus cargo jet.

The plane made an emergency landing at the Baghdad Airport after its left wing was reportedly hit by a surface-to-air missile. If true, it would be the first successful strike on a fixed-wing plane since U.S. forces seized the airport in April.

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