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2 U.S. soldiers killed in ambush

Aftermath of Sunday's attack on U.S. troops in Fallujah.
Aftermath of Sunday's attack on U.S. troops in Fallujah.

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A U.S. military vehicle explodes during an attack on a convoy Sunday in Fallujah, Iraq. (October 19)
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Two U.S. soldiers were killed and one wounded late Saturday in an attack near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, a military spokeswoman told CNN.

With the latest deaths, 338 U.S. troops have been killed in the Iraq war since it began in March -- 218 of those by hostile fire.

Around 10:45 p.m. (3:45 p.m. EDT), a U.S. mounted patrol of Humvees was attacked by rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire, according to 4th Infantry Division spokeswoman Maj. Josslyn Aberle.

The 4th ID patrol returned fire, but the assailants fled, she said.

The wounded soldier is in stable condition.

In a separate incident, U.S. forces in Fallujah -- west of the Iraqi capital -- came under attack Sunday, after their ammunition truck had mechanical trouble and caught fire, coalition officials told CNN.

The soldiers got out of the truck and came under small arms fire, the officials said. No casualties were reported.

Video showed a cloud of smoke before several loud explosions sent sparks flying, apparently the result of ammunition inside the military vehicle catching fire.

A crowd of bystanders looked on, some of them cheering "Allahu Akhbar," or "God is great."

Iraq oil minister urges international support

Iraq's new oil minister said Sunday that international help would go a long way toward bringing Iraq's oil industry up to full production.

In an interview with CNN in Baghdad, Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloom said he expects countries to be generous in their donations at this week's Iraq Donor Conference, saying the faster Iraq's oil industry is running, the faster the country can rebuild.

"Iraq has huge potential expansion as a country of oil production and exports," the minister said. "For that reason we need to put all the effort to build up a new Iraq for democratic and free future."

Uloom acknowledged that attacks on Iraq's oil pipelines are a problem, but insisted the industry has the means and the ability to keep production levels at about one million barrels a day.

CNN's Mike Mount contributed to this report.


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