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Roadside Bomb in Baquba Kills US Soldier - 2004-03-11

Gunmen in Iraq have killed two women employed by a coalition contractor in the south of the country, in the latest attack on civilians working for American organizations.

In a separate incident late Wednesday, the U.S. military says one American soldier was killed and two others wounded by a roadside bomb in the town of Baquba, northeast of Baghdad.

British forces in the southern Iraqi city of Basra say the two Iraqi women killed Wednesday worked in a laundry for a U.S. contractor that provides services to the coalition. A spokeman says the two were returning home in a taxi when they were shot.

The motive for the attack was not clear. The incident was similar to one in January near Ramadi, in which five female laundry workers were killed on their way home from jobs at a U.S. military base.

Wednesday's shooting was the latest in a string of attacks on civilians working for the U.S. led coalition or American organizations. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into Tuesday's killing (in Hillah) of two American civilians and a translator working for the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Last Friday, an Iraqi translator for VOA, his mother and his young daughter were shot and killed by unknown assailants in Baghdad. The motive for that attack is not known.