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5 GIs Hurt In 'Friendly' Iraq City

Locals walk past a U.S. Army tank patrolling the center of Baghdad, Wednesday, Nov 5, 2003. Mortars where fired into the city's "Green Zone", late Tuesday, the highly guarded headquarters area of the U.S.-led occupation, wounding at least three people and shaking downtown Baghdad with explosions.
AP
Insurgents attacked three American military convoys in the northern city of Mosul with rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs Wednesday, killing three Iraqi civilians and wounding five Americans, the U.S. military and hospital officials said.

The attacks occurred in a city long considered relatively safe for U.S. troops, compared to Baghdad and the cities and towns in the "Sunni Triangle" to the south.

Elsewhere, paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division captured two former Iraqi army generals in Fallujah, the military said. The generals were not identified, but the military said they were suspected of financing and organizing anti-coalition fighters in the volatile city west of Baghdad.

Guerrillas near Fallujah shot down a U.S. Army Chinook helicopter on Sunday, killing 15 soldiers in the bloodiest single strike against American forces since the war began March 20.

No American soldiers were reported killed Wednesday by hostile fire. But one 1st Armored Division soldier died of wounds from a "non-hostile gunshot" at a checkpoint in Baghdad, the military said.

In other developments:

  • Running short of regular Army troops for duty in Iraq, the Pentagon plans to send in Marines, along with more than 30,000 reservists, who could be deployed in Iraq for a year or more, CBS News Correspondent David Martin reports.
  • The Pentagon is trying to figure out whether the helicopter shot down in Iraq was equipped with anti-missile defenses required by the Army, officials said Wednesday.
  • The Syrian foreign ministry called on the United States to pull its troops out of Iraq, saying their presence has led to chaos and terrorism, according to remarks published Wednesday.
  • Spain is not withdrawing as many diplomats because of security fears as first reported. Only six embassy staff had been sent to Jordan, the ministry said, and two others were on vacation. The others remain in Iraq. The foreign minister had said Tuesday that 25 of the 29-member diplomatic staff would be withdrawn.
  • The Republican head of the Senate Intelligence panel is slamming a Democratic memo that spells out steps to make the committee's inquiry into prewar intelligence irrelevant by setting up an independent commission, and in the process attempt to "castigate" majority Republicans.
  • The White House may be drawing a clearer connection between the Iraq war and the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. In the past eight days, Mr. Bush has used the line "We must never forget the lessons of September 11" or a close variant at least eight times at eight different appearances

    In Baghdad, the new head of the Iraqi Governing Council, Jalal Talabani, announced he would visit Turkey on Nov. 19 to seek improved relations with Iraq's northern neighbor. He said he would also go to Iran and Syria.

    Relations were strained last month when the Turkish parliament voted to allow the government to send troops to join the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. The Governing Council strongly opposed a deployment because of hostility among the Kurdish minority and ill feelings after four centuries of domination by the Ottoman Turks.

    Talabani, who assumed the rotating council presidency Saturday, is a Kurdish politician. Turkey fought a 15-year war against Kurdish rebels, who still have bases in northern Iraq.

    On Tuesday, Turkey's ambassador to the United States, Osman Faruk Logoglu, said his country would not send peacekeeping troops into Iraq without an invitation from the Governing Council.

    Responding to reported criticism of the Governing Council in an Arab newspaper, Talabani defended the U.S.-appointed body, saying: "The council's representation of the Iraqi people is better than the representation of any Arab country to its people."

    And he blamed Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terror network and an allied group for car bombings and roadside blasts that have killed dozens of people in Iraq in recent weeks.

    "We believe that the fighters in Iraq belong to the organization of al Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam," Talabani said. "We have a plan to fight those."

    Washington says Ansar al-Islam is linked to al Qaeda, and some U.S. officials say it represents the main organized adversary to American forces in Iraq.