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Rym Brahimi: New plan to halt attacks on U.S.

CNN's Rym Brahimi in Baghdad
CNN's Rym Brahimi in Baghdad

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A U.S. soldier and an Iraqi interpreter were killed Monday when they were ambushed in Baghdad, the latest in a series of hit-and-run attacks against American forces in Iraq. Meanwhile, a plan was announced to deal with the continuing violence, involving a U.S.-trained Iraqi force.

CNN correspondent Rym Brahimi spoke from Baghdad with anchor Soledad O'Brien about the latest developments.

BRAHIMI: Another day, another killing of a U.S. soldier. This time it happened in the northeast of Baghdad. One U.S. soldier from the 1st Armored Division was killed, along with an interpreter, when their vehicle went over an explosive device and they also came under small-arms fire. Witnesses at the scene said that they also saw rocket-propelled grenade fire attacking them.

This comes just a day after two other soldiers were killed and another one wounded in the north, near the city of Mosul. They fell under small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenade attacks in an ambush.

Basically, this brings to 152 the total number of U.S. soldiers killed since the war began on March 20th. That's five more than the previous Gulf War in 1991.

Now, against this backdrop of violence, if you will, Paul Wolfowitz is here, the deputy defense secretary, [along with]the U.S. Commander, Gen. Abizaid. ... [Abizaid] said he was planning to form a 7,000-strong Iraqi militia that would be trained by U.S. forces in order to face this new security threat, and he also said there wouldn't be an expansion of the number of forces, but some of the heavily armed troops would be replaced by, more likely, more mobile troops.

O'BRIEN: Any reaction this morning to word that this Iraqi militia will be trained and brought up to speed?

BRAHIMI: Well, for the time being, we haven't really heard any formal reaction from the Iraqis or from anyone in the coalition authority here. What we do know is there is a desperate need among Iraqis and also among international people here in Iraq for more security. And [it] seems that, now, coalition authorities are coming around to the fact that it's not just U.S. soldiers that can bring about that security, but they need Iraqis to work with them on that. As occupying powers, they do need to ensure security but I think they realize that they also need to co-opt Iraqis to work with them on that issue.

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