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Iraq attacks kill American soldier, kills 2 Iraqis

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An American dies in southern Iraq
  • A spate of bombs kills two Iraqis and wounds 23 more in Baghdad
  • The Green Zone is shelled; no injuries result
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(CNN) -- A U.S. soldier was killed in southern Iraq on Sunday, while a round of bombings in Baghdad killed two Iraqi civilians and wounded wounded 23 more, Iraqi authorities and the U.S. military reported.

The American was killed in an "indirect fire attack," a term used to describe rocket and mortar attacks, in southern Iraq's Basra province, according to the U.S. command in Baghdad. It was the first U.S. fatality since last week's much-publicized withdrawal of the last American combat brigade in the country.

The U.S. combat mission is scheduled to come to a formal end September 1, nearly six and a half years after the American-led invasion of Iraq. About 50,000 U.S. troops will remain through 2011 in an advisory role -- "But they certainly have the ability to protect themselves, and if necessary, to conduct combat operations if it was required," Gen. Ray Odierno, the U.S. commander in Baghdad, told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, a spate of six bombings struck various Baghdad neighborhoods, targeting civilians and wounding 19 people, police officials said. The largest of those attacks killed two civilians and wounded 12 men at a coffee shop in southwestern Baghdad on Sunday evening, police said.

A hidden bomb exploded at the coffeehouse Sunday night, police said. During the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, Muslim men often go to coffeehouses after breaking the daily fast.

And two mortar shells hit the capital's heavily fortified Green Zone, but caused no injuries, police said. The district, formally known as the International Zone, houses Iraqi government offices and the U.S. and British embassies and has come under frequent rocket and mortar fire in the past.

-- CNN's Jomana Karadsheh and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.