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2 U.S. Troops Killed in Combat in Iraq; 17 Bodies Found in Mosul

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A 1st Infantry Division soldier was killed by a roadside bomb north of the capital Saturday and a Marine died in the western town of Ramadi as clashes between American forces and insurgents continued across Iraq.

In Khalis, about 40 miles north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi forces fought a three-hour gun battle with about 100 insurgents who overran a town hall and two police stations, local officials said. The attackers were eventually driven away, municipal official Saad Ahmed Abbas said. An Al Jazeera television news report said three Iraqi security guards were killed.

South of the capital, Marines, British troops and Iraqi security forces continued their operations against suspected insurgents near Latifiya and Mahmoudiya.

A U.S. military spokesman said 18 suspects were taken into custody Saturday, bringing to nearly 130 the number of arrests since the operation began Tuesday. A Marine was killed two days ago in the campaign, the military said Saturday.

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The 1st Infantry member killed Saturday died about 7:30 a.m. when a roadside bomb hit his convoy near Duluiya, between Samarra and Baqubah. The attack damaged an Abrams tank.

Another bomb damaged two U.S. military vehicles, including an armored shuttle bus, on the road to the Baghdad airport. And three civilians died and a dozen were injured in bomb attacks against U.S. convoys in the Baghdad area, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

West of Baghdad, in the rebellious city of Ramadi, one Marine was killed and several were injured by small-arms fire. Hospital sources said two other people were killed and three wounded when U.S. troops shot at suspected insurgents.

In Mosul, a U.S. military spokesman said troops had discovered 17 corpses, raising the number of dead found in the northern city over two weeks to more than 50.

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There was no immediate word on who the victims were, but in recent days many were found to have been members of Iraq’s army and national guard. Several had been shot through the head and others were dismembered or mutilated.

Mosul, Iraq’s third-largest city, was the site of an uprising three weeks ago as U.S.-led forces attacked the rebel enclave of Fallouja.

U.S. and Iraqi forces have moved to reassert their control over Mosul, but conflict persists there and in neighboring Tall Afar, a town near the border with Syria that has also seen large-scale guerrilla attacks.


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