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Suicide Bombing Kills Three Near U.S. Base in Northern Iraq

BY Admin  July 26, 2004 at 2:18 PM EST

A vehicle loaded with explosives blew up about 50 yards from the main gate of a U.S. airbase in Mosul, killing three people, including the driver.

“It was a suicide operation,” base employee Imad Joseph told The Associated Press.

U.S. military spokesman Capt. Angela Bowman told the AP the blast killed a woman and a child standing nearby. Three U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi guards were injured in the suicide operation, Bowman said.

In Baghdad, militants gunned down a senior Iraqi Interior Ministry official and his two bodyguards. Col. Musab al-Awadi, the ministry’s deputy chief of tribal affairs, and his two bodyguards were killed outside Awadi’s home in the al-Baya area of the Iraqi capital, Interior Ministry spokesman Sabah Kadhim told the AP.

Al-Awadi’s murder marks the tenth assassination since the new Iraqi interim government assumed power at the end of June.

Also Monday, militants holding two Jordanian drivers in Iraq threatened to execute them in 72 hours if their Jordanian employer, Daoud and Partners, did not cease doing business with the American military, the AP reported.

The masked militants, who claimed to belong to a group called the Mujahideen Corps, said the Jordanian firm would “bear the consequences of the killing and retribution against these two men” if the company failed to meet the group’s demands, according to video obtained by the Associated Press Television News.

The two Jordanian hostages, identified as Fayez Saad al-Udwan and Ahmed Salama Hassan, said on the videotape they were being treated well and pleaded with the company to meet their captors’ demands.

Jordanian government spokeswoman Asma Khader said the government was following the news of the kidnappings, though the government has not stated publicly how it would respond to the kidnappers’ demands. “Our initial information is that both work for a private company that has a connection to importing food supplies to Iraq,” she said.

In a separate announcement Monday, another insurgent group said it had kidnapped two Pakistani civilians working for the Kuwait-based al-Tamimi group in Baghdad, and their Iraqi contract driver, the AP reported Monday.

The group, calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq, released a video aired Monday on the Arab TV station Al-Jazeera, saying it had sentenced the hostages to death because Pakistan was considering sending troops to Iraq. The militants also warned the company to stop doing business in Iraq or it would kill more of its employees, the AP reported.

The Pakistani government earlier said it believed the two nationals, Raja Azad, 49, an engineer, and Sajad Naeem, 29, a driver, missing in Iraq since July 23 had been kidnapped. The group did not say when it would execute the Pakistani captives.

The abductions are the latest in an increasing number of kidnappings of foreigners by insurgents intending to pressure foreign nations and firms to leave Iraq.