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Australian Military Suffers First Fatality in Iraq

22 April 2006

The Australian military has suffered its first fatality in Iraq.

Military officials say the soldier accidentally shot himself in the head Friday while he was cleaning his gun inside the army barracks in Baghdad.

The soldier was taken to a nearby U.S. military hospital, where he later died from his injuries. His name has not been released . The soldier had been serving in Baghdad since March.

Australia, a close U.S. ally of the United States and Britain, sent 2,000 troops to Iraq during the 2003 invasion. Since then it has scaled back its forces to around 1,300.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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