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Hostage Released In Iraq --> 7 September 2005 -- The U.S. military say coalition forces have freed a U.S. contractor kidnapped in Iraq in November.

A statement said Roy Hallums was rescued today from an isolated farmhouse some 25 kilometers south of Baghdad, noting that he was in good condition.

The statement added that information given by an Iraqi detainee in U.S. custody had led to the rescue.

Meanwhile, a spokesman, Peter Mitchell, for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad said a roadside bomb exploded near a passing convoy of U.S. security guards in the southern city of Al-Basrah, killing four contractors.

All four were worked for a private security firm supporting the regional U.S. Embassy office in Al-Basrah.

In separate attacks in the capital, police said a top Iraqi Defense Ministry official, Major General Hadi Hassan Omran and another official of the Interior Ministry, Colonel Ammar Ismail Arkan, were shot dead.

Iraqis meanwhile observed a minute's silence in commemoration of last week's bridge stampede disaster in Baghdad where nearly 1,000 people died.