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U.S. Soldier Killed in Ambush in Iraq

Guerrillas ambushed a U.S. military patrol with small arms fire, killing one soldier, the military said Thursday, and suspected Saddam Hussein loyalists killed a representative of a major Shiite political party. In Tokyo on Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi approved a plan to send 1,000 troops on a humanitarian mission to southern Iraq, the defense chief said. The schedule of the deployment was not released. It will be Japan’s first troop dispatch to a combat zone since World War II. The U.S. soldier was killed Wednesday night when the 1st Armored Division patrol came under fire in al-Karmah, in northwest Baghdad, the military said. Another American was injured, as was an Iraqi interpreter. The soldier’s death brings the number of U.S. soldiers killed in combat to 314 since the war started on March 20, including 199 since President Bush declared the end of major combat on May 1. Some 144 soldiers have died of non-hostile causes, according to the Pentagon. Full Story

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