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U.S. Soldier Killed in Northern Iraq

December 8, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ A U.S. soldier was killed Monday outside a gas station in an apparent drive-by shooting in northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.

The attack on the soldier from the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division occurred in the city of Mosul, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said at a news briefing in Baghdad.

Earlier Monday, witnesses in Mosul, about 250 miles north of Baghdad, said dozens of U.S. troops cordoned off the city’s central neighborhood of al-Muthana, inspecting cars and searching people walking in the streets. At least three helicopters flew overhead at low altitude.

``We are looking for bad guys,″ a soldier said without elaborating.

In Mosul on Sunday, a soldier from the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division died and two others in his unit were wounded when rebels detonated a bomb as their convoy drove by.

Near Kirkuk, another northern city, Iraqi police on Monday said they discovered a cache of 100 mortar rounds and other ammunition in a garbage dump after a tip from garbage collectors. American troops later arrived and took away the weapons.

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, warned of a surge in attacks against coalition forces before a July 1 deadline to transfer authority to Iraqis, and cautioned that strikes might not end even if troops kill or capture Saddam Hussein.

Sanchez said Sunday attacks could increase ahead of a July 1 deadline for a transfer of authority from the U.S.-led coalition to a transitional Iraqi government.

``We expect to see an increase in violence as we move forward toward sovereignty at the end of June,″ Sanchez said.

``The killing or capturing of Saddam Hussein will have an impact on the level of violence, but it will not end it,″ he said. ``It won’t be the end-all solution.″

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