SLUG: 2-304827 Iraq/Violence (L-Upd)
/// UPDATES CR 2-304820, CHANGES IN INTRO AND FIRST FOUR GRAFS OF TEXT ///
INTRO: Reports say a U-S soldier was shot Friday in Baghdad. The shooting comes one day after an American marine was killed in an attack south of the Iraqi capital. Meanwhile, three people have been detained in connection with the suspected kidnapping of two other American soldiers. V-O-A Correspondent Challiss McDonough has more from Baghdad.
TEXT: Witnesses said a U-S soldier was shot in the head or face as he shopped for video discs in northern Baghdad. /// OPT /// His condition was unclear, but the witnesses said it looked like he died. /// END OPT /// A U-S military spokeswoman said she could not confirm the attack, but more information might be available later.
In another incident, the U-S Central Command says an American marine was killed Thursday near the town of Najaf, about 150 kilometers south of Baghdad. A CENTCOM statement says the soldier was ambushed while investigating a car theft, and died before he could be evacuated for medical treatment.
No other details of the incident were available immediately. But the ambush comes amid a recent spate of attacks on U-S forces in Iraq, as resistance to the three-month-old coalition occupation grows.
Meanwhile, U-S military officials say they have detained three Iraqi suspects for questioning in connection with the apparent kidnapping of two U-S soldiers.
Ground troops and helicopters are searching for the soldiers, who disappeared late Wednesday near Balad, north of Baghdad. Military officials believe the men were kidnapped along with their Humvee vehicle, which they fear could be used to stage a terrorist attack on other U-S troops.
The Pentagon blames what it calls remnants of the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein for the almost-daily attacks on coalition troops and Iraqi oil installations over the past several weeks.
Initially, the attacks were concentrated in the largely Sunni area of central and northern Iraq, which was considered a stronghold of Saddam Hussein's ruling Baath party. But the violence has recently spread to the largely Shiite area in southern parts of the country, as well. (SIGNED)
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