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7 U.S. troops, linguist wounded in blast in Iraq

  • Story Highlights
  • Incident was first known major attack since combat troops left urban centers June 30
  • There have been no reported deaths of U.S. troops in attacks this month
  • New rules allow U.S. forces to help with school renovations, agricultural initiatives
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A blast outside a local council meeting in northern Iraq wounded seven U.S. troops and a linguist, U.S. military officials said Monday.

The incident Sunday in Salaheddin Province was the first known major attack on U.S. troops since U.S. combat troops completed their withdrawal from urban centers on June 30.

There have been no reported deaths of U.S. troops in attacks this month. One service member died in a noncombat incident.

Maj. Derrick Cheng, a spokesman for the U.S. military's Multi-National Division-North, said Sunday's explosion happened around 1 p.m. outside the Al Sharqat Qa'da council building. The troops were walking back to their vehicles after a meeting with district government officials about civil capacity projects to help the citizens in the region, Cheng said.

Under the new rules governing U.S. forces, they can assist in projects such as school renovations, creating new water networks for villages, agricultural initiatives and building better medical facilities, Cheng said.

The wounded soldiers were transported to a nearby U.S. military medical facility.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh contributed to this report.

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