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Attacks in Iraq Kill One U.S. Soldier, Injure Two Journalists

BY Admin  December 11, 2003 at 5:46 PM EDT

Also, late Wednesday, a grenade attack injured two Time magazine journalists and two U.S. soldiers while on patrol in Baghdad.

U.S. military officials said Thursday three Iraqis concealed the bomb in a furniture truck and detonated it just outside the headquarters of the 82nd Airborne Division near Ramadi, located some 60 miles west of Baghdad. All three died in the explosion.

Three wounded soldiers were evacuated from the military base to a combat hospital and the other 11 wounded were treated and returned to duty, the U.S. military reported.

Ramadi lies in a swathe of territory, known as the Sunni Triangle, where U.S. troops have faced persistent attacks from resistance fighters.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq on May 1, 196 U.S. soldiers have been killed in action and another 118 injured in non-combat situations, according to the Pentagon’s figures.

Meanwhile, Wednesday night, two U.S. journalists from Time magazine and two U.S. soldiers were wounded by a grenade explosion while on a patrol in Baghdad, the magazine and U.S. military said Thursday.

Time senior correspondent Michael Weisskopf and renowned war photographer James Nachtwey were travelling with a U.S. Army patrol in Baghdad when the attack occurred, according to a press statement from Time magazine.

The attack occurred around 9:30 p.m. local time when an unidentified assailant threw a grenade into the Humvee the journalists were riding in with the U.S. troops.

Both journalists are in stable condition and waiting to be transferred to a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, the magazine said.

Weisskopf suffered severe wounds to his hand and Nachtwey received less serious injuries to his torso and legs, the Agence France Presse reported.

An unidentified doctor told reporters that Weisskopf sustained his wounds when he climbed onto the hood of the Humvee and tried to throw the grenade away from the vehicle before it detonated. Witnesses also say Weisskopf’s actions may have saved the others’ lives.

Time magazine has not identified the nature of the journalists’ injuries.

Weisskopf, 57, is an award-winning correspondent based in Washington, covering national politics and investigations. In 1996, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

Nachtwey, 55, is a veteran photographer, world-known for his coverage of war and poverty. In 2001, he was the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary, “War Photographer,” and this year, he shared a $1 million Dan David prize for documenting “the apocalyptic events of our time.”

At least 16 journalists have been killed in Iraq since the war began March 20, including four killed by U.S. forces, according to the Paris-based World Association of Newspapers.

In the most recently reported incident, an unidentified Iraqi gunmen opened fire on a convoy of Portuguese journalists on Nov. 14, wounding one TV correspondent and abducting the radio reporter Carlos Raleiras, in southern Iraq. Raleiras was released unharmed about 36 hours later.

Ahmed Shawkat, editor of independent weekly newspaper Bilah Ittijah (Without Direction), was shot and killed by an unidentified gunman in the northern city of Mosul on Oct. 28.