US soldiers attacked in Iraq

20 October 2003
At least two soldiers were killed on 18 October in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, when a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at their vehicle. In a separate incident on 19 October, a US military convoy came under attack in Fallujah, north of Baghdad, although no casualties were reported (MEED 17:10:03).

The latest deaths bring to 106 the number of US military personnel killed in Iraq since President Bush announced the end of major combat operations on 1 May. Soon after the attacks, a senior Iraqi official called for the redrafting of Iraq's pre-war army in order to help stabilise the country. Writing in the New York Times on 19 October, President of the Iraqi Governing Council Iyad Allawi said that Iraqis should be given the opportunity to secure their own country. 'Ultimately, only Iraqis themselves can restore security, rebuild national institutions, enact a constitution and elect a democratic government,' he said. 'Any American-led military presence, even if complemented by the UN, will never have the credibility and legitimacy that the Iraqi Army has among the people.'

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