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CNN BREAKING NEWS

U.S. Soldier Killed, 2 Wounded in Iraq Attack

Aired June 19, 2003 - 09:03   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: An American soldier has been killed after a column of U.S. troop attacked by gunman in Al Dora (ph). That's south of Baghdad.
Jane Arraf now in the Iraqi capital to tell us what she is learning about this.

A rocket-propelled grenade was involved, we're told, Jane, an attack on an ambulance. What happened here?

JANE ARRAF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bill, that just in. A rocket- propelled grenade attack on what was clearly marked as an ambulance, according to U.S. officials. They say one more U.S. soldier was killed and two more injured.

Now not clear the circumstances of that attack, but it is in the same neighborhood, on the southern outskirts of Baghdad, Al Dora, that an American soldier was killed yesterday and another wounded. That incident yesterday after an argument broke out between soldiers and a woman at a lineup for cooking fuel. Now an unidentified gunman shot a U.S. soldier in the neck, wounded another one and escaped.

Again, this is the same neighborhood. One American soldier killed and two more wounded in what they say was a RPG, a rocket- propelled grenade attack, on what the U.S. military is calling a clearly marked ambulance.

HEMMER: Jane, what are they doing about the tactics and what are they doing differently to keep American soldiers safe there on these patrols?

ARRAF: The tactics are changing, and that's really one of the worrying things, because as they learn thou fight, as they put it, the enemy, the enemy changes its tactics, and they have to change their tactics as well.

Some of the things we have them seeing are particularly difficult to fight. For instance, there was once case where an American soldier was killed at a checkpoint by someone claiming to need urgent medical attention.

If this report is indeed what it seems to be, an attack on an ambulance, it's going to be extremely hard to combat as well, particularly since a lot of these problems seem to be arising because of hostility in neighborhoods against the presence of American troops. There is a clash of cultures here. A lot of really people have a hard time with seeing American soldiers in the streets, and as much as a lot of them would like them to stay, they're uncomfortable with the way they've been acting and what they feel is disproportionate force used against things, like a demonstration yesterday in which two Iraqis were killed. It's a tough problem, but the military is trying to adapt.

HEMMER: A dangerous place, proven again today. Jane Arraf in Baghdad.

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