First Published: 2003-10-01

Two US soldiers dead in 'non-hostile' incidents

One soldier killed by unexplained gunfire near the town of Balad, another died on rescue mission outside Baghdad.


Middle East Online

97 non-combat deaths among US soldiers since May 1

BAGHDAD - A US soldier died Tuesday from a "non-hostile gunshot wound" in a camp north of Baghdad while the body of another serviceman was pulled from a canal west of the capital, the US military said Wednesday.

A statement said a soldier from the 17th Field Artillery Brigade was killed by unexplained gunfire near the town of Balad, 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of the capital.

It gave no other details and said the death was under investigation.

A separate statement said a member of a divers' rescue team from the 82nd Airborne Division died while trying to rescue some soldiers whose car had overturned Monday in a canal near Abu Gharib prison outside Baghdad.

The vehicle, carrying three soldiers, apparently overturned and was submerged by water. Two soldiers were able to swim to safety, while one was trapped inside and later found dead.

The body of the soldier from the rescue team was recovered Tuesday at 12:55 pm (0855 GMT).

The latest casualties brought to 97 the number of non-combat deaths among US soldiers since May 1 when Washington declared major fighting over. Eighty-five Americans have been killed in action over the same period.


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