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American Forces Press Service

Five Soldiers, Diplomat Killed; Forces Seize Terror Suspects

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2005 Five U.S. soldiers and a U.S. diplomat died in a series of four attacks in Iraq Sept. 19 and today.

An 18th Military Police Brigade soldier was killed 75 miles north of Baghdad when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle at 2:25 p.m. today, military officials reported.

Elsewhere, four soldiers assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), were killed by IEDs during two separate incidents Sept. 19 in Ramadi. The soldiers' names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The U.S. confirmed the death of a U.S. diplomat, Assistant Regional Security Officer Stephen Eric Sullivan, in a car-bomb attack in Mosul, today. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a statement saying that Sullivan "was a brave American, dedicated to his country and to a brighter future for the people of Iraq."

"Steve Sullivan died in the service of his country and for the cause of democracy and freedom. There is no more noble a sacrifice, and we honor Steve's devotion to country and freedom," Rice said.

News reports said that three other security personnel also died in the attack.

In other combat operations, coalition forces conducted an early-morning raid against a suspected terrorist safe house today. The team captured two suspects believed to be involved in planning and conducting terrorist activities in the Hateen district of central Baghdad. Both men were taken into custody for questioning.

In other Iraq news, Task Force Baghdad soldiers captured five suspected terrorists near a checkpoint in eastern Baghdad just after noon Sept. 19.

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, seized five AK-47 assault rifles from the suspects, who were gathered at an intersection near the checkpoint.

The suspects and their weapons were turned over to the Iraqi police.

In other developments, an Iraqi army soldier working in the area was killed and six Iraqi soldiers and another civilian were wounded when a terrorist car bomb detonated just after 7 p.m. Sept. 18 on a street in northwest Baghdad.

An Iraqi woman and her child were injured, power lines were downed and transformers popped in the attack. The driver of the car bomb also died in the explosion.

The injured Iraqi soldiers and three civilians were evacuated to a U.S. Army medical facility in Baghdad for treatment.

Following the blast, a combined U.S. and Iraqi army team saw two men in a vehicle about 50 yards from the attack site. One man jumped out of the car and ran away. When the soldiers went to question the second man, they found anti-coalition propaganda inside the car.

The man changed his story several times while being questioned by the joint patrol, had a fake identification card, and denied using his cell phone despite having been spotted making a call at the time of the blast. The suspect was taken into custody for questioning.

Meanwhile, another Task Force Baghdad patrol set up a blocking position just north of the blast site and stopped a gray car fitting the description of a vehicle that had been following closely behind the car bomb. When the soldiers searched the car, they found a pistol that had been recently fired. All five occupants in the vehicle were taken into custody for questioning.

Iraqi security forces continue to demonstrate their prowess at stopping insurgent attacks. Recent Iraqi army successes include:

A patrol from the 4th Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, detained 12 individuals Sept. 19, in Duluiyah under the suspicion of placing IEDs. The troops apprehended the suspects at a local gas station, where some bombs had been found the day before.

Iraqi soldiers found and cleared an IED, which consisted of a 155 mm artillery round with a blasting cap in the fuse well Sept. 19 in Kirkuk.

Iraqi troops from the 4th Public Order Brigade found and cleared an IED consisting of a 125 mm artillery round with a radio Sept. 19 in Baghdad. Iraqi EOD personnel conducted a controlled detonation of the device.

No injuries or damage were reported in any of these incidents.

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

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