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U.S. military: Iraqi soldier killed U.S. troops

  • Story Highlights
  • Two U.S. troops shot dead in Iraq killed by an Iraqi soldier, U.S. military claims
  • Three U.S. soldiers, civilian interpreter wounded in December 26 incident
  • Bodies found, roadside bombs take their toll Saturday morning
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Two U.S. soldiers who died last month in Iraq were apparently shot to death by an Iraqi soldier during a combined U.S. and Iraqi Army operation, the U.S. military said.

"For reasons that are as yet unknown, at least one Iraqi Army soldier allegedly opened fire killing Capt. Rowdy Inman and Sgt. Benjamin Portell, both of whom were assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment," the military said in a statement released Saturday.

Three other U.S. soldiers and a civilian interpreter were wounded in the attack, the military said.

The incident happened on December 26 in northern Iraq's Ninewah province as the U.S. Army and the Iraqi Army were working together "to establish a combat outpost," the military said.

"The Iraqi soldier who allegedly opened fire, fled the scene but was identified by other Iraqi Army personnel and was then apprehended," the military said.

The military said two Iraqi soldiers were being held in connection with the incident.

When the deaths of Cpt. Inman and Sgt. Portell were announced last month, the military made no mention of how they were killed other than that they died "from wounds received from small-arms fire during operations."

Several roadside bombs killed at least seven and wounded 12 people in Iraq, while five bullet-riddled bodies were found in Baghdad Saturday morning, according to Iraqi officials.

The deadliest attack happened about 50 miles northeast of Baquba in the town of Saadiya when a roadside bomb destroyed a minibus loaded with men, women and children, according to Baquba police. Six people on the bus died and three were hurt, police said.

One civilian died and three were wounded by a roadside bombing in the Othmaniya neighborhood in southwestern Baquba Saturday, police said.

A second bomb exploded nearby just minutes later, wounding two members of Baquba's Awakening Council who arrived to help the first bombing victims, police said.

Awakening Councils predominantly comprise Sunni Muslims and some former militants. Many of the councils have been recruited by the U.S. military's "Concerned Local Citizen's Program" to work against al Qaeda in Iraq.

In recent weeks, al Qaeda in Iraq has launched an aggressive attack campaign against Awakening Councils.

Members of a local Awakening Council found the bodies of five people who were shot to death in southern Baghdad's Dora district Saturday morning, an Interior Ministry official said. Their identities were not immediately known, he said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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