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Iraq Grenade Attack Kills US Soldier; Oil Exports Resume - 2003-06-22

One U.S. soldier has been killed and another wounded in a grenade attack on a military convoy south of Baghdad. The attack on the military convoy occurred in Khan Azad, about 20 kilometers south of Baghdad. Two soldiers were evacuated to a military hospital, where one was pronounced dead on arrival.

The incident is the latest in a series of almost daily attacks and ambushes against U.S. troops in Iraq. The military blames remaining elements of Saddam Hussein's ousted regime for them.

On Saturday, two American soldiers were injured when their vehicle ran over a landmine near the town of Hit, about 150 kilometers west of Baghdad.

In the same area, an explosion late Saturday set a major oil pipeline on fire, and sent huge plumes of black smoke into the air. Local officials are calling it sabotage, but the military says it is investigating the incident.

In another development, Iraq resumed oil exports for the first time in three months. One million barrels of Iraqi oil was being loaded onto a Turkish tanker at the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The oil is part of eight million barrels stored in Turkey before the war. The money from the sale goes to a U.S.-controlled fund for rebuilding Iraq.

Iraq hopes to resume pumping new oil to Turkey soon. Iraqi officials had said that might happen this week, but other Iraqi oil officials say the pipeline, which runs from the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk to Ceyhan is not ready.

Oil shipments were halted in March because of the U.S.-led war to topple the government of Saddam Hussein. Iraq has the second-largest oil reserves in the world, and its export is vital to help the country rebuild.