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10 US soliders killed-three seperate incedents


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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military command in Baghdad has confirmed that seven Marines and three Iraqi guardsmen were killed in a car bomb in Falluja.

 

The attack occurred late Monday morning on the outskirts of the city.

 

The explosions sent the engine from the car used in the bombing "a good distance" from the site, AP quoted a military official as saying on condition of anonymity.

 

Two Humvees were destroyed in the attack, AP reported witnesses as saying.

 

U.S. forces have not patrolled inside Fallujah since April, when U.S. Marines ended a three-week siege, AP said. The city has since fallen into the hands of insurgents who have used it as a base to manufacture car bombs and launch attacks on U.S. and Iraqi government forces.

 

The last time the Marine Expeditionary Force suffered a large number of casualties was in early April in Ramadi after daylong fighting left 11 Marines dead.

 

Meanwhile, a Turkish driver taken hostage in Iraq was freed by his captors Monday.

 

Mithat Civi, who was captured on Saturday, was released in Iraq "as a result of our intense efforts," Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told reporters in Ankara, The Associated Press said.

 

Al Arabiya television also reported Civi had been released, Reuters said.

 

The release came a day after the driver's company said it would comply with the kidnappers' demands and withdraw from Iraq.

 

Also Monday, the Iraqi interim government announced that after "testing," a man arrested Sunday was not Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, deputy commander of armed forces under Saddam Hussein, as Iraqi officials had previously reported.

 

Dr. Sabah Kadhim, an adviser to the Interior Ministry said: "After carrying out the appropriate tests to identify the person arrested, the results show he was not Al-Douri, but a relative of his also wanted by authorities. Investigations are continuing."

 

Hours after the Iraqi Defense Ministry said on Sunday that al-Douri had been captured near Tikrit by Iraqi national guard and U.S. troops, Iraq's defense minister called the report "baseless."

 

A senior Pentagon official also expressed doubt about the report.

 

Al-Douri was once vice chairman of Saddam's Revolutionary Command Council, which controlled the Baath Party in Iraq. He is No. 6 on the U.S. military's list of 55 most-wanted Iraqi officials. He is the highest-level Iraqi official not yet captured and the king of clubs on the U.S. military's card deck listing former Saddam regime officials.

 

In November, the U.S. military announced a $10 million reward for information leading to his capture. The military said al-Douri was organizing many attacks by insurgents.

 

Late last year, a man identified as al-Douri was reported captured, but he turned out to be someone with a similar name.

 

Four of al-Douri's nephews were captured in January in Samarra. U.S. Central Command said they were suspected of providing him with transportation and hiding places.

 

Al-Douri was reportedly sick, and Iraqi sources told CNN last year he had been undergoing blood transfusions every six months for leukemia.

 

At one point, the U.S. military detained some of his family members and the son of his doctor in an attempt to pressure him to surrender.

 

Al-Douri was a prominent figure in Saddam's Iraq, recognized by his red hair, red mustache and large glasses. A longtime Baath Party leader, he was instrumental in helping Saddam come to power during a coup in 1968.

 

U.S. officials say he was involved in Saddam's decision to use chemical weapons against Kurds in northern Iraq in 1988. The attack killed at least 5,000 people and left 10,000 severely injured -- many blinded, maimed or disfigured.

 

Iraqi Justice Minister Malik Dohan al-Hassan has said al-Douri could be tried in absentia.

 

Other developments

 

Two U.S. soldiers died and 16 were wounded Sunday in a mortar attack around 6 p.m. on a logistics support area near Balad, about 70 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. The soldiers were all members of the 13th Corps Support Command.

 

 

Iraqi Minister of State Kasim Daoud announced Sunday that Saddam would stand trial in Iraq before elections scheduled for January.

 

 

A series of weekend incidents killed at least 40 people. (Full story)

 

 

A car bomb exploded near a U.S. patrol about 30 miles north of Baghdad on Sunday, injuring one soldier and two Iraqis, a U.S. military official said. Afterward, a U.S. military quick-reaction force captured three suspects near Dujayal, the site of the explosion, and held them for questioning.

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