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American Forces Press Service

Roadside Bomb Blasts Kill Six Marines in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2005 Six Marines were killed in action by improvised explosive devices Oct. 6 in Iraq, Multinational Force Iraq officials reported.

Two of the Marines died during a combat logistics patrol near Qaim. They were assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). The other four Marines, assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, were killed while conducting combat operations near Karmah.

Their names are being withheld until their families are notified.

Elsewhere in Iraq, officials announced several successful operations, all including active participation by Iraqi security forces.

In Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, Iraqi army soldiers raided the homes of two notorious terrorists, capturing them during a lightning-fast pre-dawn raid Oct. 6, officials said.

An elite Iraqi army strike platoon took the lead during the operation, with other Iraqi soldiers setting up an outer cordon to prevent terrorist forces from reaching the targets and to ensure they didn't escape, officials said.

One of the suspected terrorists was known for planting roadside bombs and conducting rocket-propelled-grenade attacks on coalition forces, officials said. He reportedly received a car for shooting down a U.S. Army helicopter last year. The other suspected terrorist was known as "The Engineer" for his expertise in manufacturing and placing bombs.

The raid also uncovered a cache of bomb-triggering devices at the residences.

"The raid shows the capability of the Iraqi army battalion to plan and execute a complex mission," said U.S. Army Capt. Zan Hornbuckle, a company commander who works with the Iraqi army. "They're totally competent at the squad and platoon levels, and getting better at the company level."

Hornbuckle said the Iraqis did a great job during the operation, boosting their confidence in their abilities "to pull off such a complex mission flawlessly."

In southern Baghdad, Task Force Baghdad soldiers teamed up with Iraqi Special Police commandos Oct. 6 to conduct a series of raids, netting 34 terror suspects.

The hunt for terrorists in Saydiyah kicked off just after midnight as soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, focused efforts on 16 targets and detained 10 men, officials said. Nine of the detainees were suspected of having affiliations with al Qaeda, officials said.

Elements from 1st Battalion, 1st Commando Brigade, also conducted a raid in another western Rasheed neighborhood and detained 24 suspected terrorists, officials reported.

In central Baghdad, Iraqi security forces and U.S. Task Force Baghdad soldiers maintained calm amid chaos at the scene of an Oct. 6 homicide bomb.

A terrorist boarded a bus and detonated the bomb while on board, killing several Iraqi civilians, officials reported. During the investigation that followed, a U.S. explosive ordnance disposal team determined the bomber wore a vest loaded with up to 15 pounds of explosives and ball bearings.

Soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, and U.S. military police from Task Force Baghdad quickly arrived on the scene and established security while treating the casualties, officials said.

In northern Iraq, coalition forces from Task Force Freedom detained 48 suspected terrorists, seized weapons caches and killed a terrorist between Oct. 4 and Oct. 6, officials said.

During that timeframe, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, detained 16 individuals suspected of terrorist activity and seized multiple AK-47 rifles, along with full magazines and other weapons during separate operations in Mosul, officials reported.

Troops from 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, detained six suspected terrorists during separate operations in eastern Mosul Oct. 3 and 6. In addition, soldiers from 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, detained five suspects during two operations in eastern Mosul Oct. 5, officials said.

Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, detained six suspects and killed a terrorist after receiving small arms fire during separate operations in Tal Afar Oct. 3 and 4. Also in Tal Afar Oct. 4 and 5, members of 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, detained three suspects and seized three weapons caches.

An Iraqi citizen's tip led to one of the weapons seizures, officials said. Soldiers from the 3rd ACR also seized a weapons cache consisting of AK-47 rifles with multiple magazines, a shotgun with a bandoleer, and an improvised explosive device, officials reported. While destroying the cache, the unit engaged a suspected insurgent, who fled the scene into a safe house. The unit raided the house Oct. 4 and detained 11 suspected terrorists, officials said.

Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 3rd ACR, detained another suspect during a cordon-and-search mission near the Syrian border Oct. 5. The suspects are in custody, and their weapons were confiscated for future destruction, officials said.

Near Qayyarah, soldiers from 4th Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, seized a weapons cache during a search operation Oct. 3, officials reported. That cache included rocket-propelled grenades, various rockets, RPG boosters, mines, and an artillery round.

Meanwhile, three major offensives continue in Iraq: Operation River Gate, Operation Iron Fist and Operation Saratoga.

In the air war over Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 52 close-air-support and armed-reconnaissance sorties Oct. 6 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

U.S. Air Force F-16s and U.S. Navy F/A-18s provided close air support to coalition troops near Sadiyah and Samarra.

In addition, 12 U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Also, U.S. Air Force and British Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a non-traditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Task Force Baghdad and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)

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