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U.S. Soldier Killed, 8 Wounded In Baghdad Attacks
A U.S. soldier from 1st Battalion 68th Armor Task Force detain Iraqis from the village of Khan Mashahdah
Additional reporting By Subhi Haddad, IOL Iraq Correspondent
BAGHDAD, July 14 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - A U.S. 3rd Infantry Division soldier was killed early Monday, July 14, and eight others were wounded in separate attacks on their patrols in Baghdad, as thousands of ex-Iraqi soldiers and officers faced off in tense protests with U.S. troops as they demanded payment of their first salaries in four months.
In Baghdad's al-Mansour district, U.S. soldier was killed and six others injured, when their convoy was ambushed in a multiple rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack, a U.S. press information center statement said.
The soldiers were evacuated to a U.S. support hospital for treatment and the incident was said to be under investigation by the U.S. command, the statement reaffirmed.
The U.S. Center said another American soldier died on July13 from what it termed as a "non-hostile gunshot incident."
Meanwhile, two booby-trapped cars exploded along with the exchange of fire at Al-Khadhra’a district early in the day at the northwest of Baghdad, but no casualties were reported.
In another incident a private-car driver was killed and his companion was injured because the driver did not respond for an order by U.S. soldiers to stop for inspection.
Eyewitnesses, meanwhile said that a Palestinian university professor called Dr. Husam Al-As’ad was shot dead by an unknown gunman at Al-Baladiyat district southeast of Baghdad.
In what appeared to be a separate incident on a highway just north of the capital, a U.S. convoy came under RPG attack. A U.S. soldier at the scene told an Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer that one U.S. soldier and two Iraqis have been wounded.
Reuters news agency also said that a U.S. soldier was critically wounded earlier in the day when his Humvee came under an attack in a Baghdad suburb.
The death brought to 32 the number of U.S. soldiers killed since the United States declared major combat operations in Iraq over on May 1, according to an AFP account.
The incident came as the U.S. troops in Iraq has launched Saturday night, July 12, a major new offensive, Operation Ivy Serpent, to crush the mounting Iraqi resistance.
The latest U.S. operation has netted up to 226 Iraqis and yielded a large cache of weapons, the U.S. military said in a statement Monday.
The statement denied reports that Iraqi civilians have been killed or wounded in the operation's 27 raids, adding that there had equally been no U.S. casualties from the task force Ironhorse conducting the campaign.
Meanwhile, thousands of ex-Iraqi soldiers and officers, who were discharged from their positions following a decision by U.S. civil administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer, demonstrated in Baghdad, branding U.S. troops as "liars."
They said that the U.S.-led forces have failed to pay their salaries despite several promises.
A number of women employed by the abolished Defense Ministry, Nawal Ridha Jassim, Bushra Mohammed and Siham Jassim, said they have been waiting for three months to get any payment, but in vain.
"Under the former regime, we were getting limited salaries, but now we have income and can’t pay the rent of our houses or feed our children," they said.
A loudspeaker calling in Arabic for the veterans to disperse went largely unheeded, with groups of protestors chanting: "Down, down America".
U.S. troops appeared prepared to fire warning shots but backed off.
The U.S. administration in Iraq announced in June 23 that it would begin monthly payments from 50 to 250 dollars on July 14 for up to 250,000 former professional soldiers.
"They are liars. Our situation is desperate, and maybe all these soldiers will turn against the U.S. because so far there is no solution," AFP quoted former soldier Hassan Abdul Wahid as saying.
U.S. troops opened fire on a demonstration in Baghdad on June 18, killing two Iraqi veterans protesting over unpaid salaries -- the first such incident in the city since it fell to U.S.-led forces occupied the country on April 9.