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American Forces Press Service

Vehicle Accident in Iraq Claims Three Soldiers' Lives

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2005 Three Task Force Baghdad soldiers died when the vehicle in which they were riding overturned into a sinkhole Aug. 15 during combat operations in southern Baghdad, military officials reported today.

The soldiers' names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The incident is under investigation, officials said.

In other news from Iraq, an Iraqi police SWAT team and coalition forces killed a terrorist and captured 16 terrorism suspects during a joint search operation Aug. 15 in the Hillah area.

Iraqi SWAT officers and U.S. soldiers with 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, were conducting joint operations that had four primary targets. One was the terrorist section leader. The second was an Egyptian known for facilitating, coordinating and conducting improvised explosive device attacks. The third target was a financier for terrorists operations. The suspect killed also was on a coalition target list.

No Iraqi or coalition forces were injured in the operation. Also on Aug. 15, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces conducted successful search operations in Mosul and Balad, resulting in the capture of six suspected terrorists. Two suspects were captured when Iraqi police officers and elements of 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry (Bobcats) Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light), conducted a cordon and search in Mosul. A terrorist cell leader was among four people captured during a joint raid in Balad, which included Iraqi security and coalition forces.

In Fallujah, Iraqi civilians tipped off Iraqi army and U.S. soldiers about weapons being stored in two houses in the area. Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Intervention Force, and 1st Battalion, 6th U.S. Marines, searched the first home and found three half-sticks of plastic explosive, two blocks of TNT, a grenade fuse, two spools of firing wire attached to an electric blasting cap, an artillery simulator and an Iraqi field phone.

Two men were detained. The Marines collected the ordnance and transported the detainees back to a detention facility for questioning.

In the second operation, soldiers from the same Iraqi army battalion searched an abandoned house and discovered a cache consisting of eight tubes of plastic explosive and 24 sticks of TNT. The soldiers removed the explosives and transported them to a secure facility for later disposal.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq news releases.)

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