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US Soldier Charged with Killing Colleagues in Iraq

U.S. military officials say an American soldier was charged Tuesday with killing five of his colleagues at a U.S. base in Baghdad.

Major General David Perkins, an army spokesman told reporters in Baghdad that Sergeant John M. Russell was charged with five counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault.

Russell allegedly shot and killed his colleagues Monday at a Camp Liberty counseling clinic where soldiers seek help for stress.

The spokesman said Russell was probably on his third tour of duty in Iraq, and was due to leave soon. He said the soldier's weapon had been taken away, but that Russell got another weapon and returned to the clinic.

Separately Tuesday, Iraqi officials said a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into an Iraqi police patrol in the northern city of Kirkuk, killing five police officers and one civilian.

Officials said the bombing wounded at least 14 other people, including officers and civilians.

Kirkuk is the center of Iraq's oil production in the north, and is contested between its Kurdish and Arab populations.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.