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U.S. soldier among 3 killed in incidents

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq (AP) -- A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed car Thursday near a bank in Iraq where police officers were collecting their paychecks, killing two people, while an American soldier was killed in a separate incident that marks the first U.S. combat death since July. Both incidents took place in northern Iraq.

The U.S. military did not identify the soldier, pending notification of next of kin.

Army Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins said the soldier was about to go on a military operation when he was hit by "indirect fire" in northern Iraq, using the military's term for rocket or mortar fire.

It brings to 4,478 the number of American troops who have died in Iraq since the war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Earlier, Col. Salam Zangna, a security official in Kirkuk Hospital, said two people were killed and about 60 others wounded in a blast targeting police officers who were picking up their paychecks at the bank.


Strauss-Kahn queried in presence of accuser

PARIS (AP) -- Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn met in a face-to-face confrontation Thursday with a French woman who says he tried to rape her, as the two were questioned jointly by investigators deciding whether to pursue the case.

The Paris Prosecutor's Office is investigating Tristane Banon's allegation that Strauss-Kahn attacked her during an interview for a book in 2003. Strauss-Kahn calls the accusation imaginary and slanderous.

Banon requested a one-on-one meeting with Strauss-Kahn, which investigators granted. The two arrived at the police facility Thursday morning in cars and did not speak with reporters gathered outside.

This kind of confrontation is a practice sometimes used in France to help officials decide if a case is worth pursuing.

Strauss-Kahn quit as head of the IMF and saw his chances for the French presidency evaporate after a New York hotel maid accused him of attempted rape in May.

The U.S. case was later dropped amid questions about the maid's credibility, but she has filed a civil lawsuit.


American's conviction reversed in wife's death

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands (AP) -- A panel of judges Thursday overturned the conviction of a Rhode Island man accused in his wife's 1999 scuba-diving death.

David Swain walked free after judges with the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal found problems with the jury instructions read by a judge during the 2009 trial.

The appeals court also declined to order a new trial because of concerns about recalling defense witnesses, given the amount of time that has passed since the death.

"I feel elated," Swain told reporters as he walked away with his daughter, Jennifer Swain Bloom, who has long maintained her father's innocence.

A jury had unanimously convicted Swain of murdering Shelley Tyre in what authorities described as a near-perfect crime.

Prosecutors had argued that Swain killed Tyre because he was in love with another woman and wanted to obtain his wife's money. Their case rested largely on experts who said they believed that Swain attacked his wife from behind, yanked off her scuba mask and cut off her air supply.

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