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American Forces Press Service

Five Soldiers Killed in Ramadi IED Explosion

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2005 Five soldiers assigned to 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), were killed by an improvised explosive device in Ramadi, Iraq, on Sept. 28, military officials reported.

The soldiers' names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Several Army units are serving in Iraq with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.

Elsewhere in Iraq, a terrorist bomb targeting a Task Force Baghdad patrol exploded near a school in northern Baghdad Sept. 26. Members of 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, stopped to secure the area and see if any of the students from the school were hurt. No injuries were reported.

"I couldn't believe they blew up that bomb. There were about 300 kids around us, up and down the road," Army 1st Lt. Matthew Brennan, a mortar-platoon leader, said.

He said the explosion stunned passengers in three cars near the blast. Brennan called a medic to help check everyone, but the individuals in the cars were shaken up but not injured, officials said.

In other news, a tip from an Iraqi civilian helped Iraqi army soldiers free an Iraqi woman taken hostage by a criminal gang in the Rashid district of central Baghdad.

After receiving the tip, Iraqi soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 1st Commando Brigade, headed out in a large convoy to find the captive. They obtained the address of a suspect's house from an Iraqi citizen when they arrived in Rashid.

This information, along with the cooperation of other neighborhood residents, allowed the commandos to quickly assault the house and detain four suspected gang members.

The four men claimed to have been threatened by a local terrorist leader operating in the Risala neighborhood of southwestern Baghdad, the commando forces said. The terrorist leader allegedly threatened to kill the gang members if they did not capture and deliver the hostage, an unidentified Iraqi woman, who was believed to be a spy for coalition forces.

The woman was returned to her family, less than 24 hours after she her abduction.

Another Baghdad citizen's tip helped Task Force Baghdad soldiers to capture seven suspected terrorists and discover three improvised explosive devices Sept. 26.

After receiving a tip that a large bomb was buried beneath a road in southern Baghdad, U.S. soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, investigated the area and discovered exposed wires leading from the suspected bomb site to a nearby house.

The unit raided the house, seized the suspects and found a series of linked roadside bombs at the site. The largest of the three bombs contained more than 200 pounds of homemade explosives. The other two IEDs each consisted of two artillery rounds.

An explosive ordnance disposal team was called in and detonated the IEDs on site.

The patrol also discovered anti-coalition propaganda inside the home and a bag hidden in a nearby canal. In the bag was a cache of cell phones, batteries, and homemade detonating devices.

"The tip that led our forces to these roadside bombs was essential to the success of the mission," said Army Maj. Raul Benitez, an intelligence officer with 4th Brigade Combat Team. "This shows that Iraqi civilians are tired of the death and destruction they see on a daily basis and are willing to make their voices heard to make their neighborhoods safer."

In other combat operations, more than 100 soldiers from 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, conducted an air and ground assault in south Baghdad.

The unit searched three different objectives during the assault, captured four terror suspects and seized bomb-making materials, detonation cord, blasting caps and electrical wire.

In Balad, the 1st Brigade Combat Team, a Task Force Liberty unit, conducted three counter-fire missions in response to a Sept. 29 mortar attack. They also detained a suspect who ran from the scene to a nearby house. An Iraqi citizen positively identified the detainee, who tested positive for explosives.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Task Force Baghdad news releases.)

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