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American Forces Press Service

Rollover Accident Kills Two Soldiers in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2005 Two 1st Corps Support Command soldiers were killed and another was injured today when their vehicle rolled over while conducting a combat logistics patrol near Balad, Iraq, military officials reported.

Officials also announced that two soldiers assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) died of wounds suffered Oct. 10 when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle in Ramadi, Iraq. Several Army units are serving with the 2nd MEF in Iraq.

The soldiers' names of the soldiers are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In other news from Iraq, U.S. officials reported that after a car chase and gunfight, Task Force Baghdad soldiers rescued a kidnap victim and killed one of the abductors around noon Oct. 11. Acting on a tip about the kidnapping of an Iraqi man, soldiers from 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, planned an attack to kill or capture the kidnappers. Within minutes, they identified the kidnappers' vehicle and began a seven-kilometer chase that ended in western Baghdad. The U.S. soldiers were attacked with small-arms fire, but managed to safely rescue the kidnap victim. During the exchange of gunfire, the soldiers wounded one assailant, who was taken to the Abu Ghraib Prison hospital, where he later died. The other kidnapper is in Iraqi police custody, officials said. In other news, the effort to train, equip and mentor Iraq's security forces hit a milestone recently, with the number of men and women serving in uniform stretching past 200,000, officials in Baghdad said.

The Iraqi Ministry of Interior now has 106,112 personnel serving as part of security forces. The Ministry of Defense has 93,959 servicemembers in the military.

"Reaching this landmark is especially significant given that Iraq's military and police forces will be taking the lead in providing security for the Oct. 15 referendum," a spokesman for Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq said.

More than 60,000 additional Iraqi security forces are available than there were for the highly successful January election held earlier this year, officials said.

Since the effort to rebuild the country's forces began about 15 months ago, more than 115 special police and army combat battalions have been formed. The rebuilding effort includes regular police, border enforcement and highway patrol for the Ministry of Interior and motor transport regiments, navy, air forces and numerous training organizations for the Ministry of Defense, officials noted.

The majority of those combat battalions are fighting side by side with coalition forces, and several dozen are already taking the lead in operations, officials said.

In other news, Iraqi police from Sadiyah, Iraq, about 100 miles northeast of Baghdad, found some mortar rounds in a local palm grove Oct. 10.

The rounds were similar to those used in the manufacture of roadside bombs previously found elsewhere. The police turned over the nine unserviceable 82 mm Chinese-made mortar rounds to the explosive ordnance detachment for later destruction.

Elsewhere, when Iraqi army troops responded to a report of an explosion Oct. 10, they found a weapons cache in the village of Ehaimer.

Troops from the 4th Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, didn't find any evidence of an explosion, but they got a tip, which lead to the capture of a local suspect on their target list. The suspect was taken into custody and took troops to the weapon cache.

The weapons cache included seven 60 mm mortar tubes, 20 120 mm rounds, three kilograms of C-4 plastic explosive, 76 60 mm mortar rounds, seven timers, 32 remote-firing devices, 30 feet of pressure switch wire and a Global Positioning System device.

The landowner who owned the land where the cache was found, as well as the initial suspect, are being held by authorities pending further investigation.

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

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