American Civilian Killed In Iraq

Members of Delta Company, First Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, practice with machine guns Monday, Aug. 4, 2003, at the Fort, an abandoned Iraqi army facility near Tall Afar. The soldiers, who conduct patrols and raids, fired live rounds into a berm around the building. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) IRAQ
An American civilian contractor was killed Tuesday when a remote-control bomb exploded under the truck he was driving north of Tikrit, the U.S. military said.
The contractor was employed by Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, a Houston-based oilfield-services and construction company. Halliburton, the former company of Vice President Dick Cheney, has major contracts for reconstruction in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Maj. Brian Luke, of the 4th Infantry Division, said the five- vehicle convoy was traveling from Baghdad when it was attacked. Insurgents have increasingly been using roadside bombs detonated by remote control to attack American forces.

Kellogg Brown & Root has been doing work at the Baiji refinery and pipeline terminus about 30 miles north of Tikrit, the hometown of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein, about 125 miles north of Baghdad.

The military said the destination of the convoy was not immediately known, and that the name of the civilian was being withheld until relatives were notified.

Lt. Col. William MacDonald, also of the 4th Infantry, said the contractor died after being taken to a U.S. military field hospital at an air base north of Tikrit.

In other developments:

  • After the deaths of Odai and Qusai Hussein last month, "more Iraqis are coming forward" and "are providing helpful information," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters Tuesday.
  • The U.S. military says it is keeping Saddam on the run. U.S. forces have staged a series of raids as they continue hunting the ousted Iraqi dictator. Asked if U.S. troops were closing in, Rumsfeld said: "I don't know because you don't know if you're closer until you get him. We need to find him and we're going to find him."
  • Senior American officials says violence against U.S. soldiers in Iraq is increasingly the work of foreign fighters. But Iraqis and American officers on the ground say the evidence is stronger that Iraqis angry at American occupation and Saddam loyalists are behind most attacks.
  • The Army is still trying to figure out what's causing a rash of serious pneumonia cases among troops serving in Iraq. At least 100 soldiers have been sickened, 14 of them so severely that they ended up on ventilators; two men died from the disease.
  • Arab League members decided Tuesday not to recognize Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council, saying they will wait until a government is elected. The decision means Iraq's seat at the 22-member Arab League will remain empty for the time being.
  • Some 2,000 Polish troops began heading for Kuwait, preparing to take over peacekeeping duties in south-central Iraq on Sept. 1. The deployments will continue through early next week, but Defense Ministry officials in Warsaw would not give further details.
  • According to the Los Angeles Times, the United States is restricting payments to kin of Iraqis wrongfully killed by U.S. troops. Families of unarmed people killed at checkpoint shootings, for example, might not receive compensation if commanders U.S. troops fired because they thought they were in danger.

    In the past week, the Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff; Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq; and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz all have made statements suggesting foreign terrorists were an increasing problem for American forces.

    "No one I think believes that here is not an infiltration, a continued infiltration, of foreign fighters into that country," Meyers said Tuesday. He pointed to a camp in Iraq where some 75 foreign fighters were killed several weeks ago.

    However, Army spokesman Capt. Mike Calver said the existence or depth of foreign intervention was not clear. "We suspect that this may be true, but I don't think we can quantify at this time how many attacks are carried out by al Qaeda or Saddam loyalists," he said.

    A second commander in the region around Ramadi, the Anbar provincial capital 60 miles west of Baghdad, said disgruntled residents — some of them religious people offended by the presence of non-Muslim U.S. forces — and former Baath Party members were behind the attacks on Americans.

    Dozens of Iraqis interviewed in the region — many of whom said they had links to the resistance — insisted none of the attacks on Americans was the work of foreigners. They said that most of the 4,000 to 6,000 Arab fighters who flooded into the country before the war began have either been killed or fled.

    Those interviewed said U.S. officials wanted show the world that Iraqis supported the American occupation and therefore were blaming foreign fighters for the insurgency.

    "They are claiming there are al Qaeda fighters in order to justify to their people their invasion and occupation of Iraq," said Sheik Diyab Younis Zo'ebi, 62, a tribal leader in Fallujah, about 18 miles east of Ramadi.

    "We and al Qaeda are two opposite things. Bin Laden (fighters) cannot come into Iraq…because we will not let them. They are enemies of our religion," he said.

    An active connection between Saddam and al Qaeda was one U.S. justification for the war. No evidence has been found to confirm that allegation.

    But there is ample evidence of a reservoir of resentment against Americans.
    In one sign of frustration, demonstrators Monday destroyed an Iraqi police car near the city of Fallujah, where U.S. forces have been training local police officers, reports CBS News Correspondent Byron Pitts.

    The crowd marched through the town, where Americans have come under fire almost daily, screaming, "No God but God" and "America is the enemy of God."