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1 U.S. soldier killed, 5 injured during attacks in Iraq

TIKRIT, Iraq—Simultaneous attacks on U.S. troops Saturday at two locations left one soldier dead and five others injured.

The two attacks in the hometown of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein occurred around 2:40 a.m. In one, a rocket-propelled grenade exploded within the walls of the Civilian Military Operations Center (CMOC), injuring five 4th Infantry Division soldiers. The injured were evacuated and were reported in stable condition at a military hospital.

At the same time about a block away, unknown assailants opened fire on a police station jointly staffed by U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police officers. One soldier took a bullet to the face and died a short time later.

In both cases, soldiers returned fire. A white van carrying a woman and two men, one of whom appeared to have a bandaged head was spotted leaving the scene of the CMOC attack.

Soldiers began searching for the vehicle and checking local hospitals.

The names of the dead and injured were not released, pending notification of next of kin.

In a third incident at approximately the same time, gunmen shot at a passing Apache helicopter in North Tikrit. The helicopter's crew returned fire but no casualties on either side were reported.

Saturday's death was at least the seventh of a U.S. soldier in attacks in Iraq in the past two weeks and underscored how dangerous the country remains for American troops trying to bring order in the wake of a military victory that toppled Saddam's government.

A U.S. soldier was killed Tuesday and another injured near Tikrit when unknown assailants shot at them and fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the checkpoint they were guarding.

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(c) 2003, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Iraq

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