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2 Britons Killed By Baghdad Car Explosion
VOA News
24 May 2004, 11:45 UTC

The U.S. military says two people were killed and two wounded Monday by a bomb blast near the compound housing U.S.-led coalition headquarters in Iraq.

At a news conference in Baghdad, U.S. General Mark Kimmitt corrected earlier reports that said four people were killed in the blast, which destroyed an armored all-terrain vehicle.

Britain's Foreign Office says the two dead were British civilians. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has called the deaths "shocking," and said they show the risks foreign civilians must take in order to help Iraqis rebuild their country.

General Kimmitt says the blast was apparently caused by a roadside bomb that went off about 150 meters from a busy entrance to the compound.

Later, insurgents fired a mortar round into the compound, causing a loud boom heard across the Iraqi capital. There were no reports of casualties or damage.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press has obtained a videotape purportedly showing an Iraqi wedding party that celebrants say was attacked by U.S. forces last week. The Wednesday night attack in a village near the Syrian border killed some 40 people.

The video, which does not include the attack, shows men and boys singing, dancing, and relaxing in a large tent as musicians play in the background.

The U.S. military maintains that the site was a safehouse for foreign fighters. Today, General Kimmitt showed photos of weapons, ammunition, and suspected drugs he says were found at the site.

General Kimmitt acknowledged there are "inconsistencies" between the video and what U.S. forces saw on the ground. He said the U.S. investigation of the incident continues.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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