Violent Weekend Leaves GI Dead

U.S. soldiers patrol near the area where Sergeant Leonard Simmons from Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 502nd infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Div., memorial service will be taking place, in Mosul, Sunday Aug.10, 2003.Simmons, who was from Clarksville, Tennessee, died of cardiac arrest on Aug.6, 2003, while on duty. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
AP
A U.S. soldier was killed and two others wounded in a bomb attack in northern Iraq, capping a weekend in which violence erupted in even the normally quiet southern tip of the country.

Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division came under attack late Sunday with a homemade bomb in front of the police station they were guarding in Baqouba, 45 miles north of Baghdad, Maj. Mark Solomons said.

The death brought to 57 the number of U.S. troops killed in action since May 1, when President Bush declared major combat over.

British troops restored badly needed electricity to parts of Basra and supervised distribution of gasoline Monday after two days of protests over fuel and power shortages.

In the southern city of Basra, a British patrol returned fire after it came under attack late Sunday, wounding two assailants, British military spokesman Capt. Hisham Halawi told The Associated Press. Two others escaped and were being pursued, he said. There were no British casualties.

In other developments:

  • Elsewhere Sunday, the U.S. military reported that four American soldiers were wounded in guerrilla attacks, including two at the Baghdad University complex and two others in Saddam's hometown of Tikrit. One U.S. soldier died of heat stroke and another was found dead in his living quarters on Sunday, the military said.
  • The U.S. military says troops acting on a tip from an Iraqi have seized and destroyed 24 rocket-propelled grenades, explosives and other weapons. In two other raids, U.S. forces netted one surface-to-air missile and captured 13 loyalists to Saddam.
  • An Iraqi woman says American soldiers shot and killed her husband and three of her four children Friday night as they were trying to get home before a curfew. In all six Iraqis were reported killed. A military spokesman said he'd check on what he called a "serious" matter.
  • There are more doubts about the intelligence claims that led to the Iraq war. The Washington Post says a number of Bush administration allegations were kept alive despite evidence they were false. The New York Times reports Defense Intelligence Agency analysts now believe two trailers found in Iraq were not for producing biological weapons.
  • But new evidence of weapons of mass destruction soon may be revealed, say published reports. CIA expert David Kay, head of the U.S. weapons search, plans to release in mid-September evidence of biological weapons and missile development, say reports. The Economist magazine says new British evidence of biological weapons could also be published soon.

    Basra had been one of the quietest cities in the country. But on the second day of protests Sunday, an Iraqi protester and a Nepalese security guard were shot dead.

    The protester was killed after an angry crowd tried to block four four-wheel drive vehicles crossing the main bridge leading to the airport and the British military headquarters. It was not clear who shot the demonstrator.

    The dead guard worked for Global Security, a private company hired to provide security and other services for coalition bases throughout the country. The guard was bringing mail from Kuwait to United Nations staff in Basra.

    He was shot by an unknown assailant as a two-car convoy neared an intersection in the center of the city, coalition spokesman Iain Pickard said.

    British troops patrolling the area gave away their own fuel to calm the demonstrators, coalition spokesman Charles Heatly said from Baghdad.

    Over the weekend, about 1,000 protesters blocked roads with rows of burning tires and threw rocks at vehicles and British troops, who suffered only minor injuries, Halawi said.

    "The town is calm this morning. People have had power since last night, and petrol is getting at petrol stations," he said.

    According to The Times, the fuel shortages are a result of problems with Iraq's refineries. Most are configured to produce heavy oil rather than gasoline or cooking fuel. Sabotage and problems with electricity generation have reduced the plants' output, pushing the black market price of fuel in Basra to 50 times it official price.

    In Baghdad, Heatly said coalition forces were taking steps to alleviate the power and fuel crisis in Basra. The coalition also brought in two new gas turbine generators to try to patch up the antiquated electricity system, and British soldiers were supervising distribution at gas stations to make sure people were not charged exorbitant black-market prices.

    Late Sunday, two bombs exploded about 60-70 yards from the British office in central Baghdad, witnesses said. There was no visible damage to the office, but a Syrian national who was part of a convoy of trucks taking supplies to the office was injured, according to the witnesses.

    There was no indication whether the British office was the target. U.S. troops removed the truck in which the Syrian was injured within the hour of the explosion.

    Meanwhile, a team of FBI investigators searched the bombed Jordanian Embassy, where a car bomb on Aug. 7 killed 19 people.

    The attack rattled Baghdad residents who feared it signaled a rise of terror tactics in the already violent Iraqi capital. L. Paul Bremer, the top civilian administrator in Iraq, said the al Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Islam group was at the top of his list of suspected terrorist organizations operating in the country.

    U.S. military officials have blamed almost daily attacks on Saddam loyalists and Iraqis angered by a foreign occupation. There is growing concern that foreign fighters in Iraq may join the conflict, conducting terrorist attacks like the one on the Jordanian Embassy.

    Even as the White House and Pentagon predicted U.S. troops would be welcomed as liberators, the CIA was warning the Bush administration that guerilla warfare could follow a quick U.S. military victory in Iraq, the Boston Globe reports.

    Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says President Bush's advisers have made some flawed assumptions about postwar Iraq that are contributing to Iraqis' resentment of the U.S. occupation.