BAGHDAD -- Gunmen killed one U.S. soldier and wounded seven others in Iraq Tuesday in the latest of a string of guerrilla attacks against American forces who took over the country last month, Reuters said.

The attack with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms in the city of Falluja brought to three the number of U.S. fatalities from hostilities in the past 24 hours nearly a month after President Bush declared major combat over.
U.S. Central Command said in a statement the gunmen apparently fired from a mosque in the city, 32 miles west of Baghdad. U.S. troops fired back, killing two of the attackers and capturing six others.
A U.S. Army Medevac helicopter was damaged during the exchange when a Bradley Fighting Vehicle accidentally struck it while maneuvering into a firing position, Central Command said. The Arabic news network al-Jazeera, however, said the attackers had shot down the helicopter.
It was the second attack reported from Falluja in recent days on U.S. troops. Last Wednesday, U.S. soldiers killed two Iraqis in retaliatory fire.
Two U.S. soldiers were killed and four wounded in two separate Iraqi ambushes Monday, one in Baghdad and the other north of the capital.
"These incidents tell us that there are still many challenges throughout Iraq that we have to deal with," Captain David Connolly told Reuters Television in Baghdad. "We will continue to fight pockets of resistance as well as criminal gangs."
The U.S. fatalities were among the rare few attributed to "hostile actions" since Bush declared the end of major combat in Iraq on May 1.

News Code 30

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