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Separate Attacks Kill 5 US Soldiers in Iraq - 2004-01-24

A car bomb attack in the central Iraqi town of Khaldiya has killed at least three American soldiers and injured another six. Several Iraqi civilians were also wounded in the explosion. In separate attacks earlier Saturday, a car bomb in the town of Samarra killed at least three Iraqis and wounded dozens of others, while a roadside bomb detonated in Fallujah, killing two American soldiers.

Military officials say a four-wheel drive vehicle pulled up to a U.S. checkpoint in Khaldiya, which is just over 100 kilometers west of Baghdad. The car then blew up in front of a U.S. military vehicle.

It was the third deadly attack of the day against coalition forces and Iraqis.

Earlier, a roadside bomb exploded as a U.S. military convoy was driving by near the town of Fallujah, which lies about 80 kilometers west of the capital.

In a separate incident, a car bomb exploded in Samarra, north of Baghdad. The bomb went off outside the town council building and near an American military police patrol and the central Iraqi police station. Khaldiya, Samarra and Fallujah are all located in a particularly volatile area known as the Sunni Triangle. It's here that most of the deadly attacks against coalition forces and Iraqis cooperating with them have occurred.

Saturday's attacks came hours after a small team of United Nations officials arrived in Iraq to review the security situation and determine whether it's safe for international staff to return to the country.

The United Nations pulled its international staff out of Iraq after the bombing of its headquarters in Baghdad last August.