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Gunmen Kill British Bomb Expert in Iraq

September 5, 2003

LONDON (AP) _ A British bomb disposal expert was killed and his Iraqi bodyguard was seriously wounded when gunmen attacked their vehicle in northern Iraq, officials said Friday.

The roadside ambush occurred Thursday as Ian Rimell, who worked for the British-based charity Mines Advisory Group, and his bodyguard, Salem Ahmed Mohammed, were driving on a main road near Mosul, Iraq.

Britain’s Foreign Office said Rimell, 53, was the second British civilian to die in Iraq since the end of the war. The other was freelance journalist Richard Wild, 24, who was shot by an unidentified gunman in July.

Earlier Thursday, Rimell had cleared a scrap heap filled with ammunition and hidden explosives, then delivered the scrap metal for the rebuilding of a local school.

Lou McGrath, executive director of the charity, said the group was ``devastated by the loss of their good friend and colleague. He was a dedicated humanitarian who worked so well with the local people.″

``Our thoughts are with the families and our prayers are with Salem, as he remains in serious condition. We are further reviewing our areas of operation in Iraq following this attack.″

Mines Advisory Group staff members have been in Iraq for more than a decade, with 700 mostly local personnel in northern Iraq. It was one of the few international aid agencies that remained in Iraq during the war, providing humanitarian mine clearance and mine risk education.

Rimell, who had received a British Empire Medal, was married with three grown children.

He joined the charity in January after a long career in mine and bomb disposal.

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