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Volume 3,  Number 30              August 31 - September 6, 2003            Quezon City, Philippines

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Postwar Deaths of U.S. Troops in Iraq Exceeds Combat Toll

By Terence Neilen
The New York Times

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The number of United States soldiers who have died in Iraq since May 1, when President Bush declared the end of major combat there, has surpassed the number of American deaths in the first stage of the war, which began on March 19.

A total of 141 United States soldiers have died from May 1 to today, compared with 137 from March 19 to April 30, according to a spokesman at Central Command at McDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Of the total since May 1, 63 Americans were killed in action and 78 died in nonhostile incidents, the spokesman, Lieut. Ryan Fitzgerald, said.

The total number of American deaths since March 19 are 175 killed in action and 103 from nonhostile action, Lieutenant Fitzgerald added. Later, Central Command said a Fourth Infantry Division soldier died in a traffic accident on Monday, bringing the tally of nonhostile deaths to 104.

The toll since May 1 included the death today of a soldier from the Third Corps Support Command, who was killed when an improvised explosive device went off near the town of Hamariyah, 16 miles northwest of Baghdad. Two other soldiers were wounded, Central Command said.

Slightly different figures for the American death toll since May 1 were given by a spokeswoman for the coalition operations center in Baghdad, Spec. Nicole Thompson, although they, too, surpassed figures for the opening campaign of the war.

Specialist Thompson said by telephone that 64 Americans had been killed in action since May 1 and 81 had died from nonhostile actions.

Nonhostile incidents could involve so-called friendly fire, suicide, auto accidents, heatwave deaths and anything that does not involve the enemy, she said.

Ten British soldiers have been killed in action since May 1, Lieutenant Fitzgerald said, and two have died in nonhostile incidents. The corresponding figures, according to the coalition center in Baghdad, are 12 and 5.

In other military action in Iraq today, hundreds of American soldiers raided Khalis, 42 miles north of Baghdad, in an attempt to crush a crime ring accused of murder, gunrunning and terrorist attacks. Soldiers caught 24 members of the group, but its leader, Lateef Hamed al Kubaishat, appeared to have eluded capture, Col. David Hogg, commander of the Fourth Infantry Division's Second Brigade, told The Associated Press.

August 26, 2003


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