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Iraq gunmen attack car carrying Japanese
Updated: 2004-05-28 09:25

Gunmen attacked a car carrying two Japanese men, their interpreter and driver in Iraq, Japan's top government spokesman said Friday.

An Iraqi mother walks with her two children past a Japanese soldier in the town of Al-Khudor, near the city of Samawa, southern Iraq, May 3, 2004. [Reuters]

The government was unable to confirm details about the incident given it was still late at night in Iraq, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda.

Kyodo News agency reported the car burst into flames after the attack. The driver of the car was injured, it added.

The Japanese were freelance journalists returning to Baghdad from the southern city of Samawah, the report said.

Foreign Ministry officials were immediately unavailable for comment early Friday.

Two Japanese diplomats were killed last November when their unarmed car was ambushed near the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit.

Japan has dispatched over 500 soldiers to Samawah in southern Iraq and hundreds more naval and air force troops to the surrounding region on a humanitarian mission in support of the U.S.-led coalition.

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