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Suicide Bomber Attacks U.S. Unit at Baghdad Airport

By Matthew Green

NEAR BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber has attacked U.S. Army soldiers at Baghdad international airport, a U.S. Marine gunnery sergeant said on Saturday.

The last order we just got said there was another suicide bombing at the airport, so be especially vigilant at roadblocks," U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Mark Woodward told Reuters.

"The order was just today so I'm assuming it (the attack) was either last night or this morning."

Woodward, whose Marine Mechanized Infantry Unit is southeast of Baghdad, had no information on causalities or details about the incident.

U.S. and British forces have been on heightened alert for possible suicide attacks after an apparent suicide car bomb killed three U.S. soldiers, a pregnant woman and the driver of the car at a checkpoint northwest of Baghdad this week.

Four U.S. soldiers also died in a bomb at a checkpoint last Saturday.

Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf threatened on Friday a "non-conventional" act against U.S.-led forces at the Baghdad airport, where U.S. soldiers say they are in control but have come under heavy artillery fire.

Sahaf hinted Iraq may use suicide attacks against the U.S. forces but ruled out use of weapons of mass destruction.

"We will commit a non-conventional act on them, not necessarily military," Sahaf said. "We will conduct a kind of martyrdom operation." Iraqi officials often use the word "martyrdom" in describing suicide attacks.

Sahaf said on Saturday Iraqi troops had expelled U.S. forces from the airport, which the United States denied.

Major General Victor Renuart told a news conference at U.S. command headquarters in Qatar he was not aware of any suicide bomb attack against U.S. troops at the airport.

"I heard the reports about a potential suicide bombing at the airport... I tried to check. It has not come up on any radar scope," he said.

 


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