American civilian killed in Iraqi attack

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- An American civilian delivering mail to the U.S. Army died Tuesday when his truck was blown apart by a remote control bomb north of Tikrit, the military and his employer said.

Also, angry residents of the city of Fallujah attacked an Iraqi police station for the second straight day, slightly injuring an American soldier who joined police in trying to fight off the attackers, who were armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons.

The crowd was dispersed after a firefight. There were no immediate reports of Iraqi casualties. Fallujah, in the so-called "Sunni Triangle" in central Iraq, has been a center of anti-U.S. sentiment.

Failed raid

U.S. military sources, meanwhile, reported a failed raid last week in the Mosul region in northern Iraq to capture one of Saddam Hussein's most trusted aides, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri.

Al-Douri, who is No. 6 on the U.S. most-wanted list, managed to survive the ex-dictator's frequent purges, it was believed, because he had no ambitions to be first in the Iraqi hierarchy.

Al-Douri's daughter was married to Saddam's son Odai, who was killed with his brother Qusai in a U.S. attack July 22 on their Mosul hideout.

Mail run

The slain U.S. civilian worked for Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, a Houston-based oil field-services and construction company. Halliburton is the former company of Vice President Dick Cheney and has major contracts for reconstruction in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Company spokeswoman Wendy Hall said the worker was on a daily mail run from Baghdad International Airport to the Tikrit region when the mine was exploded. Tikrit is 120 miles north of the capital.

Hall said the dead employee was with a team supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and that two fellow workers were in the convoy but not hurt. The military and the company declined to identify the victim.

It was not immediately clear if the contractor was the first U.S. civilian to die in Iraq.

Tuesday marked the fourth straight day that the U.S. military lost no soldiers in combat, after a two-week period in which American forces were being killed at a rate of nearly one a day.

The last reported combat death was late Friday.

All the deaths were occurring in the Sunni Triangle, the region north and west of Baghdad where support for Saddam's ex-regime remains especially strong. Tikrit, where Odai and Qusai were buried Saturday, sits in the region and has proven especially hostile to the American occupation.

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