SLUG: 2-304820 Iraq / Violence (L)
TITLE=IRAQ / VIOLENCE (L)
INTRO: The U-S military says another U-S soldier has been killed in an ambush in Iraq. Meanwhile, three people have been detained in connection with the suspected kidnapping of two American soldiers. As V-O-A correspondent Challiss McDonough reports from Baghdad, the news comes amid an upsurge in resistance attacks on U-S troops in Iraq.
TEXT: The U-S Central Command says the 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 grows to the three-month-old coalition occupation.
Elsewhere, U-S military officials say they have detained three Iraqi suspects for questioning in connection to the apparent kidnapping of two U-S soldiers.
Ground troops and helicopters are searching for the missing 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 southern parts of the country, as well. (Signed)
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