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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Grenade Attack Adds to Death Toll

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- An American soldier and an Iraqi interpreter were killed and three soldiers wounded in a gun and bomb attack in Baghdad on Monday, a military spokeswoman said.

Witnesses reported seeing two U.S. Humvee vehicles blown up on a Baghdad street at around the same time, although the spokeswoman could not confirm that this was the fatal incident.

The mangled shells of the Humvees, their canvas tops obliterated and tires burned off, smoldered well into the afternoon as military investigators secured the scene.

"One 1st Armored Division soldier was killed and three others wounded when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device and was subsequently engaged with small arms fire," the U.S. military spokeswoman said.

"An Iraqi interpreter working with the soldiers was killed."

Journalist Rosie Garthwaite of the Baghdad Bulletin saw one U.S. vehicle destroyed in a blast, leaving a mangled wreck pouring black smoke high into the hot summer morning. Local people told her they had seen two people dead inside.

Witnesses said one of the destroyed vehicles was on the off-ramp of a Baghdad highway, and the other was about 100 meters away on the same road.

Four U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi UN driver were killed between Friday and Sunday in ambushes. U.S. officials blame the attacks on die-hard loyalists of deposed leader Saddam Hussein.

Witnesses said U.S. soldiers also came under fire in a marketplace in the restive town of Ramadi, west of Baghdad.

A U.S military spokeswoman said two U.S. soldiers in a Bradley fighting vehicle had been wounded in the incident.

"A patrol was hit by two improvised explosive devices. There are two wounded," she said.

In all, 38 U.S. soldiers have now died at enemy hands since President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1. That has increased pressure at home for signs of a reduction in the U.S. role in occupying Iraq.