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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US Soldiers Attacked in Iraq
VOA News
19 Jun 2003, 13:57 UTC

In the third attack on U.S. forces in the last 24-hours, U.S. troops have been attacked south of Baghdad, killing one soldier and wounding two others.

The U.S. military said the attack occurred Thursday on the outskirts of Baghdad in the town of Al Iskandariyah. A rocket-propelled grenade hit a U.S. military ambulance, setting the vehicle on fire. The ambulance was transporting an injured patient to a military hospital when it was attacked.

Thursday's attack took place in the same neighborhood where a U.S. soldier was killed and another wounded Wednesday in a shooting attack at a gas station the troops were guarding. U.S. officials blame a number of recent attacks against coalition forces on gangs still loyal to ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Coalition troops have carried out a number of raids in recent days to wipe out pockets of resistance.

On Wednesday, one Iraqi was killed and 12 others wounded when a mortar shell hit a coalition office in the Iraqi city of Samarra, north of Baghdad. No U.S. troops were injured in that attack and an investigation is under way.

In another development, Iraq's senior oil official says the country will resume exporting oil on Sunday after a three-month suspension. Mohammad al-Jibouri of Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization said in Baghdad Thursday, that Iraqi oil from the country's northern oil fields, stocked in Turkey, will be loaded onto tankers at the Turkish terminal of Ceyhan on Sunday. Oil from the southern part of Iraq will be exported later this month, through the off-shore terminal Mina al-Bakr. Oil companies from Spain, Turkey, the United States, Italy and France will be receiving the first Iraqi shipments.

Before the war, Iraq exported some two million barrels of oil per day, as part of the U.N. oil-for-food program. On Wednesday, the U.S. military announced the capture of the number four man on the U.S. list of most-wanted Iraqis: Abid Hamid Mahmud. He was captured Monday in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown.

Abid Hamid Mahmud was a personal secretary and key advisor to the former Iraqi dictator, and U.S. officials say he may be able to provide information about Iraq's suspected weapons of mass destruction. He is the highest ranking Iraqi official on the U.S. list to be captured so far. The only people higher on the list are Saddam himself and his two sons, Uday and Qusay.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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