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Grenade Assault on Ambulance Kills, Injures Soldiers

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2003 – One 804th Medical Brigade soldier was killed and two injured today during a rocket- propelled grenade assault on a military ambulance that occurred north of Camp Dogwood in the town of al Iskandariyah, U.S. Central Command reported today.

The ambulance was transporting a patient injured in an unrelated incident to the 28th Combat Army Support Hospital. The soldiers' identities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In other action, a Civil Military Operations Center in Samarra was hit by an 82 mm mortar round June 18, killing one Iraqi and wounding 12 other Iraqis, according to a CENTCOM news release.

U.S. 4th Infantry Division soldiers in the area had heard three explosions and contacted local Iraqi police. The Samarra police investigated the scene and discovered those Iraqis killed and injured in the attack, according to the release.

The perpetrators of the assault escaped, and no U.S. troops were injured in the attack. The incident is under investigation.

The operations center's mission, according to the command, is to facilitate humanitarian relief efforts by providing linkage between the U.S. and coalition military and other government agencies and nongovernmental organizations in Iraq.

CENTCOM reported June 18 that one of Saddam Hussein's top three confidants is now in U.S.-coalition custody.

Gen. Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti, the deposed dictator's personal secretary, senior bodyguard and national security adviser, was captured June 16 in Iraq by coalition forces, a press release noted.

The Iraqi's capture was a result of U.S.-coalition efforts to find and eliminate Saddam loyalists still in Iraq and to confiscate banned heavy weapons under Operation Desert Scorpion, which began June 15. Al-Tikriti is No. 4 on CENTCOM's "Iraqi Top 55 List," the release said.

That makes the captured Iraqi general the highest-ranking Saddam-regime official now in U.S.-coalition custody. Only Hussein and his two sons, Qusai and Odai, all still at large, are more senior.

More than half of the persons on the "Top 55" list have been captured or killed, according to U.S. officials.

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