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American Forces Press Service

2 Soldiers Dead; Enemy Employing New Tactic in Iraq

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2004 - Two American soldiers died in Iraq April 14, one of them as a result of enemy action, and five others were wounded. Also in Iraq, coalition officials reported a new tactic used by terrorist forces: using aid convoys to smuggle arms.

Two attacks with improvised explosive devices near Samarrah left one soldier from Task Force Danger dead and another five wounded, according to a news release from Combined Joint Task Force 7.

The first IED attack on a convoy at about noon local time killed one soldier and wounded two. Nearby, a second attack on another convoy wounded three more soldiers, according to the release. The wounded soldiers were taken to Logistics Support Area Anaconda for medical treatment. They were listed in stable condition.

A Task Force Olympia soldier in Mosul died April 14 from "an acute cardiac event," a task force spokesman said in a release.

U.S. military officials in Mosul disputed a Reuters wire-service report that a U.S. soldier had been killed in action in Mosul. "No U.S. soldiers have been killed in action in Mosul since an improvised-explosive-device incident more than one week ago," an official said in a statement.

In restive Fallujah, where tensions remain high between Marines and the local population, a convoy of humanitarian goods was found to contain weapons and ammunition, according to CJTF 7 officials.

U.S. Marines working with Iraqi forces in the area reported finding armor- piercing rounds, aiming sights for rockets, and rifles hidden in bags of rice, grain and tea. "The man detained for transporting the weapons was wearing a poorly made Red Crescent uniform in an attempt to make the convoy look legitimate," a spokesman said in a statement.

Also in Fallujah, Marines engaged an enemy sniper, who then fled in an Iraqi ambulance. "By using the ambulances, (the enemy forces) put wounded and dying Iraqis in harm's way, preventing them the services they need to reach medical care," the spokesman said.

Operationally, the past 24 hours have been eventful for coalition forces in Iraq. Marines in Kharma, near Fallujah, repelled an attack by "a significant number" of anti-Iraqi forces on a defensive position near a residential neighborhood. Local residents later told the Marines the rebel forces had virtually held them hostage in their own homes recently.

Through a series of raids, U.S. Marines and soldiers netted several suspects and weapons caches in Anbar Province, according to CJTF 7 officials.

  • Near Habbiniyah, soldiers with 1st Brigade Combat Team turned up an IED factory. The soldiers discovered parts for making IEDs, weapons and a suspected IED testing area. Soldiers killed 16 enemy combatants and detained another 10.

  • Soldiers with 1st Brigade Combat Team also captured seven enemy suspected of launching IED and mortar attacks near Khalidiyah, just southeast of Ramadi. Soldiers recovered four rocket-propelled-grenade rounds, an RPG launcher, an IED triggering device attached to 100 feet of wire, and plastic explosives.

  • Marines in Ramadi conducted a cordon-and-search mission and detained seven enemy after finding five sticks of dynamite, grenades and blasting caps in two different houses.

  • A raid on a smuggler's house in Fallujah turned up hidden weapons. Sixteen men were detained.

    Marines and soldiers also continue to assist local residents whenever possible, officials said.

  • Soldiers with the 1st Brigade Combat Team came to the aid of three Iraqi men in Ramadi after their fuel truck caught on fire. The soldiers rendered first aid to the injured men and remained on the scene until an Iraqi ambulance arrived.

  • Soldiers in Ramadi visited a glass factory to assess needed repairs to a water-cooling tower the plant manager said was burned in a fire.


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