January 17, 2004

3 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Bomb Attack in Iraq

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

New York Times

TIKRIT, Iraq, Jan. 17 — A roadside bomb detonated north of Baghdad on Saturday, killing three U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi civil defense troopers, a U.S. military spokesman said.

The deaths bring to 500 the number of American service members who have died since the Iraq war began.

Two Americans also were wounded in the attack, which occurred when a Bradley Fighting Vehicle struck an explosive device on a road near Taji, about 20 miles north of Baghdad, said Lt. Col. Bill McDonald, a spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division.

The vehicle caught fire, killing the three Americans and two Iraqis who were on joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol, McDonald said.

A U.S. quick reaction force rushed to the area and detained three men fleeing in a white truck, he added. Soldiers found bomb-making material in the vehicle, he added.

CNN reported that the Bradley flipped over and caught fire.

Also Saturday, the military said a U.S. soldier died from a non-hostile gunshot wound south of Baghdad. The incident occurred Friday evening near Diwaniyah south of Baghdad, the command said in a statement. No further details were released.

The deaths bring to 500 the number of U.S. service members who have died since the Iraq conflict began on March 20.