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In our news wrap Thursday, the U.S. military confirmed three American service members died in a rocket attack north of Baghdad. The Iraqi government has launched an investigation into the Wednesday strike, which U.S. officials said bore the markings of Iranian-backed proxy forces. Also, the torch lighting for Tokyo's 2020 Olympic Games went ahead as scheduled despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the day's other news: The U.S. military confirmed three American service members died in a rocket attack north of Baghdad.
The strike happened yesterday at a military camp in Taji. The Iraqi government has launched an investigation.
In Washington, the head of the U.S. Central Command told a Senate panel the attack bore the markings of Iranian-backed proxy forces.
Gen. Frank McKenzie:
I will note that the Iranian proxy group Kataib Hezbollah is the only group known to have previously conducted an indirect-fire attack of this scale against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq.
While periods of decreased tension may provide the illusion of a return normalcy, ample intelligence and, indeed, yesterday's actions indicate the Iranian regime's desire to continue malign activities that threaten lives.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper threatened retaliation against the proxy group, and said — quote — "You don't get to kill and wound Americans and get away with it."
A federal judge in Virginia has ordered former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to be released from prison. She was being held for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury probe into the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. Her lawyers say that Manning had been receiving medical treatment for an apparent suicide attempt yesterday.
At least five people have died in widespread flooding across Egypt. Thunderstorms bombarded Cairo, as cars struggled to drive through overflowing streets. Authorities said at least one victim died when strong winds flipped his vehicle.
Government officials said at least five other people were injured, including a child.
And the torch-lighting ceremony for this Summer Tokyo Olympic Games went ahead today, as planned, even as other sporting groups announced suspensions over the COVID-19 pandemic. In Olympia, Greece, the birthplace of the Games, an actress playing a pagan priestess lit the flame during a small ceremony that was held without spectators.
Officials in Japan said that, for now, the competition is still on.
Yoshiro Mori (through translator):
We are not thinking of changing directions nor changing plans at all. Now is a time when everyone is making effort toward one direction. There is no room for thoughts that are negative or pessimistic.
Today, President Trump said that officials should consider delaying the Games until next year. The opening ceremony in Tokyo is set for July 24.
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