Two congressmen injured in Iraq

A military vehicle carrying three congressmen overturned on the way to the Baghdad airport, injuring two of them, the U.S. Embassy said. Rep. Tim Murphy, a Pennsylvania Republican, was airlifted to a military hospital in Germany for an MRI on his neck, and Rep. Ike Skelton, a Missouri Democrat, was sent to a Baghdad hospital for evaluation, said Rep. Jim Marshall, a Georgia Democrat, who was also in the vehicle but was not hurt when it overturned Saturday.

"I was supposed to come tour the hospital to talk to the wounded. I didn't think I'd be among them," Murphy told Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV by phone Sunday from Germany. He said he expected to be home Monday night.

Skelton's spokeswoman Lara Battles said she believed Skelton was doing well but declined to comment further.

The politicians were riding in a convoy that was driving in the middle of the road, a common practice used by the military in Iraq to deter oncoming motorists. Shortly after dark, an oncoming tanker truck refused to yield, the embassy said Sunday.

"Then all of a sudden brakes get slammed on. Then we hit something and go off the side of the road and tip over," Marshall told The Macon (Georgia) Telegraph by phone from Baghdad.

Marshall said that as the vehicle toppled over, he held onto Skelton, who has limited use of his arms due to childhood polio. The embassy said the driver's quick reaction "probably averted disaster."

The delegation had traveled to Afghanistan to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with the troops and then on to Baghdad to meet with troops there, reports the AP. I.L.

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