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2 South Korean Workers Killed in Iraq - 2003-11-30

Two South Korean contractors in Iraq have been killed and two others wounded in an ambush, north of Baghdad. This was the latest of several roadside attacks in Iraq in the past two days, targeting citizens of countries allied with the United States.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry says the men were employees of Oh Moo Electric, a company based in Seoul. The electricians were in Iraq under contract with an American firm to lay down power lines at a power transmission station near Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, in central Iraq.

The ministry says it believes the men were traveling from Tikrit to Baghdad on Sunday, when attackers opened fire on their vehicle.

A day earlier, two Japanese diplomats were gunned down in a similar attack in the same area. The U.S. military says that a contractor from Colombia was also killed Saturday in an ambush in Balad, 75 kilometers north of Baghdad.

Tikrit and Balad both lie in the restive "Sunni Triangle" region, where anti-coalition resistance has been the strongest for the past seven months.

In another deadly ambush Saturday, seven Spanish military intelligence agents were killed in Mahmudiyah, 30 kilometers south of Baghdad. The agents were traveling in a convoy of four-wheel drive vehicles, when they came under fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades.

On Sunday, coalition military spokesman Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, dismissed media speculation that the attack may have been planned and coordinated by former Saddam Fedayeen fighters. "This could have been any enemy that saw a soft target and saw an opportunity to shoot at either a coalition vehicle or private vehicle or a military vehicle. I'm not sure those linkages have been established," he said.

Last week, the top U.S. administrator in Iraq, told reporters that coalition opponents have changed tactics to counter U.S. military efforts to crush the insurgency in Iraq.

He says insurgents are now targeting more Iraqis and international personnel working with the coalition, in a bid to disrupt U.S.-led efforts to rebuild Iraq. Mr. Bremer says the insurgents will fail.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says it now believes the November 15 collision of two Black Hawk helicopters in the northern city of Mosul was caused by ground fire from a rocket-propelled grenade.

The incident, which killed 17 U.S. soldiers, was the single deadliest incident of the war for American forces. Sixteen soldiers died on November 2 when their U.S. Army Chinook helicopter was shot down near Fallujah in the Sunni Triangle.

Two more U.S. troops were killed Saturday in an ambush near the border with Syria in western Iraq, bringing the U.S. death toll in November to nearly 80.