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Blast Wounds 31 U.S. Soldiers in Iraq; Stryker Accident Kills 3

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2003 – A car bomb exploded early today outside a U.S. military compound west of Mosul, Iraq, wounding 31 American soldiers, according to U.S. Central Command.

The good news, said CENTCOM spokesman Marine Maj. Pete Mitchell, was that the vehicle wasn't permitted to get closer to a building where U.S. troops were billeted.

"It's a testament to the way we are organized over there in terms of force protection," Mitchell pointed out.

The bomb went off after U.S. soldiers standing guard outside the compound's perimeter stopped the car, he noted. Flying glass from windows was the primary cause of the soldiers' injuries.

The soldiers, Mitchell noted, are being treated locally, and "by and large are in good shape."

In other Iraq news, three U.S. 2nd Infantry Division soldiers were killed and one was injured yesterday near Balad, during a road accident involving two Stryker infantry carrier vehicles, according to a CENTCOM press release.

The injured soldier was taken to the 21st Combat Support Hospital for treatment.

Names of those killed and injured are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The accident, CENTCOM said, wasn't caused by enemy action.

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