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CNN BREAKING NEWS

U.S. Soldier, Interpreter Killed in Latest Attack in Iraq

Aired July 21, 2003 - 06:02   ET

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

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We thought we'd take you to Iraq first thing this morning. Just hours ago, another American soldier was killed. Add his death to two other American soldiers killed over the weekend, it means more than two dozen U.S. troops have died in July alone. Demonstrations, they're also getting worse.
Let's go live to Baghdad now and Rym Brahimi.

Bring us up-to-date -- Rym.

RYM BRAHIMI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carol, as you said, part of these daily attacks against U.S. soldiers, well, minister authorities here tell us that early this morning one U.S. soldier was killed with the Iraqi interpreter that was on that convoy. Now, the convoy apparently drove over an explosive device.

We spoke to witnesses at the scene, and they reported that there was also some rocket-propelled grenade attacks at that moment. It just happened a few hours ago, and it happened in a neighborhood northeast of the Iraqi capital.

And this follows the killing yesterday of two other U.S. soldiers near the northern city of Mosul. They were from the 101st Armored Division, and their convoy was attacked, was ambushed, by small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. Another soldier was wounded in that same attack.

And it's against this backdrop, Carol, that the deputy defense secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, is in Iraq, apparently to boost the moral of U.S. troops, but also he's been looking at mass graves, visiting mass graves; also talking a lot about the need to bring to justice the former remnants of the Iraqi regime. And he's also met with Iraqis and taken in some of their grievances.

Now, the U.S. commander -- the commander of U.S. troops here in Iraq, General Abizaid, is also in Iraq, and he met with Paul Wolfowitz. General Abizaid is saying that soon they're planning to replace their heavily-armored troops, at least some of them, by more likely equipped mobile troops that will be able to face this new security threat to U.S. soldiers better -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Rym Brahimi reporting live from Baghdad this morning. Thanks.

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