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Saddam left 211 US soldiers dead, 1,000 injured

July 10, 2003 10:36 IST

Two hundred and eleven American soldiers have been killed and more than a 1,000 injured in the Iraq war since March 20, Pentagon officials said.


The United States defence department released the figures to CNN. A report on its Web site said since the war against Saddam Hussein began till Wednesday, July 9, 791 troops were injured during combat and 253 troops in non-combat operations.


Even after US President George Bush's announcement on May 1 that major combat operations have ended, American troops were under guerrilla attacks almost every day.


The Pentagon statistics between May 1 and July 8 listed 73 Americans soldiers as killed. Of them, 29 died in hostile fire around Iraq and 44 in non-hostile fire and accidents.


The CNN report said 211 US troops were killed – 143 by hostile fire and 68 in non-hostile incidents -- since Operation Iraqi Freedom began.


The war and occupation of Iraq is costing the US an average of $4 million a month through September, according to a statement Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made to a senate committee on July 9.


The same day Bush said he was 'absolutely confident' in his decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, CNN says.


'There is no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the world peace, and there is no doubt in my mind that the United States, along with allies and friends, did the right thing in removing him from power,' Bush said during a joint news conference with South African President Thabo Mbeki.


Meanwhile, Bush's closest ally and British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he had no regrets at joining Iraqi Freedom -- and also, he had not misled his countrymen about the conflict.


'I refute any suggestion we misled Parliament or the country totally,' CNN quoted Blair as telling a committee of senior members of Parliament.

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