US soldier, two Iraqis killed

Published December 19, 2003

BAGHDAD, Dec 18: Iraqi guerillas killed a US soldier in an ambush in Baghdad, the US military said on Thursday, as two assassinations underlined fears that internal political divisions could erupt into widespread bloodletting.

The soldier’s death on Wednesday night was the first combat fatality suffered by US troops since news on Sunday of the capture of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, and the 199th since Washington declared major combat over on May 1.

In a further example of the violence that has gripped Iraq since Saddam Hussein’s capture, an official of the largest Shia group was shot dead on Wednesday.

A representative of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) said Muhannad al Hakim had been shot dead near his home in Baghdad’s Amil district, after receiving death threats, allegedly from Saddam supporters.

The SCIRI official added that in a separate incident, an angry crowd in Najaf had attacked and killed Ali al Zalimi, an official of the Baath party who played a role in crushing an uprising after the 1991 invasion.

“People surrounded him with guns, and proceeded to shoot and beat him,” the official said, calling the killers: “residents of Najaf who recognized this criminal.”

DEADLY AMBUSH: A US spokeswoman said a soldier from the First Armored Division died in an ambush in the Al Karradah neighbourhood of Baghdad on Wednesday night. Another soldier and an Iraqi translator were wounded.

Occupation forces swept into the town of Samarra for a second day to drive out guerillas from what US officials describe as the Sunni triangle in northern and central Iraq, where Saddam Hussein had his power base. Eighty-six people have been arrested since Tuesday.

Two brigades have encircled Samarra, some 100kms north of Baghdad, cutting it off from the outside world while soldiers from a third brigade make house-to-house searches and scour shops and junkyards.

US forces seized 200 AK-47 assault rifles and bomb-making material and arrested five people, including an arms dealer, the US military said in a statement.—Reuters

Opinion

Editorial

Worsening hunger
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Worsening hunger

THAT the dollar liquidity crunch has started hurting the import of essential items such as vegetables and raw...
Bannu beheading
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Bannu beheading

The state must take up the cudgels and neutralise barbarism before it spreads.
Smog misery
08 Dec, 2022

Smog misery

IF 2022 has taught us anything, it is that generations of reckless disregard for Mother Nature has accrued very ...
Disquiet on the western front
Updated 07 Dec, 2022

Disquiet on the western front

IT is very difficult for Pakistan to be delinked from Afghanistan, because of reasons of geography and history.
Fuel from Russia
07 Dec, 2022

Fuel from Russia

THE apparent headway made with Russia for the purchase of its crude oil, petrol and diesel at discounted prices is a...
More women SHOs
07 Dec, 2022

More women SHOs

IT is encouraging to see more employment avenues opening up for women in Pakistan, with an increasing number of...