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Iraq Roadside Bomb Kills 3 in US Army Convoy - 2003-12-22


A bomb has killed two American soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter in Baghdad, just hours after coalition forces reported the arrest of an Iraqi general suspected of coordinating insurgent attacks.

The U.S. military says the bomb exploded at the side of a road in the Iraqi capital as an army convoy passed shortly before midday Monday. Two soldiers were wounded, in addition to the three deaths.

Earlier, the military announced a former Iraqi intelligence officer, Mumtaz al-Taji, had been arrested overnight in Baquba, 50 kilometers north of Baghdad. A U.S. spokesman, Major Paul Owens, said he is believed to have recruited Iraqi army veterans for attacks against U.S. forces.

The general was captured during a series of raids that began Sunday in various parts of Iraq.

The head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, says Saddam Hussein's capture on December 13 has led to the arrest of several hundred Iraqis, including leaders of the anti-U.S. insurgency.

Meanwhile, in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk Monday, ethnic Kurds demonstrated to demand the oil center be part of a future autonomous region for the country's minority Kurdish population. Kirkuk, which has a large Kurdish population, is located just outside the Kurdish-controlled area of northern Iraq.

In another development, an Iraqi official says the U.S. military detained three scientists from the technology university in Baghdad last week to question them about their role in Iraq's weapons programs.

Higher Education Minister Zayad Abdul Razzaq said today he has issued a complaint about the detentions to the American-led administration in Baghdad.

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