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G.I. says bomb truck was aiming for hotels

BAGHDAD, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- The actions of a U.S. soldier on guard duty in Baghdad may have kept Monday evening's triple suicide bombings from claiming many more lives.

Spc. Darrell Green, on night guard duty at the Sheraton Hotel, heard the first of the three explosions, then saw a cement truck approaching the hotel as its driver tried to drive through a hole blasted in a concrete wall. He shot at the truck, which stopped and then exploded, the military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported Wednesday.

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"His intent was to get through and get into the (Palestine and Sheraton) hotels," Green said of the suicide bomber.

Capt. John Newman, Green's superior, said he "had to laugh" at a theory that the attack was part of a plan to kidnap journalists staying at the two hotels.

Green, a native of Deland, Fla., said he thought the bomber's intent was clearly to inflict as many casualties as possible.

"I don't think he was trying to deliver flowers," Green said.

Iraqi officials have said that 17 people -- mostly hotel guards and passers-by -- were killed and 10 were wounded in the attack. However, Newman said, "This was a success story. It could've been worse."

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