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Bulgarian soldier killed by U.S. mistake

DIWANIYAH, Iraq, April 4 (UPI) -- A U.S. Army investigation into the March 4 shooting death of a Bulgarian soldier confirmed he was killed by U.S. forces in a "friendly fire" incident.

Jr. Sgt. Gurdi Gurdev was killed southwest of Diwaniyah Iraq when American and Bulgarian patrols came into contact, neither knowing the other was there.

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The Bulgarian patrol fired a warning shot at an Iraqi vehicle. The American soldiers standing post at a radio relay point near division headquarters, believing they were under fire from Iraqi insurgents, returned fire, fatally wounding Gurdev.

"This was a tragic accident, and the men and women of Multi-National Force-Iraq extend their deepest sympathies to the family of Jr. Sgt. Gurdi Gurdev," U.S. Central Command said in its report on the accident.

No action is being taken against the soldiers. The Bulgarian government has been briefed on the investigation's findings.

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