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Attack Kills Three U.S. Soldiers in Northern Iraq

Three American soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (search) -- the squad involved in the deadly raid on Uday (search) and Qusay (search) Hussein -- were killed Thursday when they came under attack from small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades in northern Iraq, a military spokeswoman said.

V Corps spokeswoman Spc. Nicole Thompson said the soldiers, members of the 101st Airborne Division, were traveling in a convoy toward Qayyarah (search), 185 miles north of the capital, Baghdad, when they were attacked at about 2:30 a.m. No soldiers were reported wounded.

It was the second attack in two days that killed members of the division. No soldiers were wounded in the attack and it wasn't known if any of the assailants were killed or wounded, the military spokeswoman said.

A pair of rocket-propelled grenades and an AK-47 rifle were later found.

• Map: Postwar Iraq

Also Thursday, Arab satellite broadcaster Al-Arabiya aired a tape of what it said were a group of Saddam Fedayeen vowing revenge for the deaths of Uday and Qusay, who were killed Tuesday in an attack on a house in the northern city of Mosul.

The U.S. released photographs of the much-feared brothers on Thursday in an effort to convince skeptical Iraqis that the two men were, indeed, dead.

In Baghdad, two Iraqi men were killed after the car they were in approached a U.S. checkpoint near the downtown al-Geilani mosque and American troops opened fire. Eyewitnesses said the two men were killed after the car caught fire.

"We told the driver not to go ahead because there was an American checkpoint," said Mahmoud Haider, 50, who witnessed the shooting. "He refused."

Also Thursday, a leading member of Iraq's interim Governing Council said Iraq should adopt a constitution and hold free elections within one year at most.

Adnan Pachachi, a former Iraqi foreign minister, told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that the aim of the newly appointed council was to "shorten as much as possible the transition period" to self-rule.

"The only way to do that is to have a constitution and free elections," Pachachi said. He planned to hold talks with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw later Thursday.

The American deaths brought to 158 the number of American servicemen killed in action since the war began March 20, surpassing by 11 the death toll in the 1991 Gulf War.

On Wednesday, two American soldiers were killed in separate attacks on their convoys, including one near the Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad, and another in Ramaldi, 60 miles west of the capital, killing one soldier and wounding two more.

Also on Wednesday, an Arab satellite network broadcast what it said was a new audiotape carrying the voice of Saddam, though no official confirmation has been received. The speaker said the tape was made on July 20.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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