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Insurgents Kill Two U.S. Soldiers, Seven Iraqis

Baghdad, 22 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. military today said two U.S. soldiers were killed and one wounded near Baqubah, northeast of Baghdad, in a rocket or mortar attack yesterday, bringing to nine the number of Iraqis and U.S. soldiers killed by insurgents in the last day.

In Al-Fallujah, west of the capital, local police said three Iraqi women working for the U.S.-led coalition and their driver were killed when assailants opened fire on their car yesterday. Today, insurgents opened fire at a police checkpoint near the Iraqi town of Al-Fallujah, killing three policemen and wounding five.

A policeman at the site of the attack, Maher Muhammad, said the attackers fired assault rifles and tossed a grenade at the police. Local police said that in yesterday's attack several other women were wounded when the insurgents opened fire on the mini-bus they were traveling in. The women had worked as cleaners at a U.S. base near Al-Fallujah.

In Madrid, the Spanish Defense Ministry said a Spanish police commander was shot in the head and seriously wounded during an "antiterrorist" raid in Iraq. The ministry said the police commander was fired at from a car during an "antiterrorist" operation near Diwaniyah, southeast of Baghdad.