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American Forces Press Service

Five U.S. Troops Killed in Three Iraq Operations

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2005 Three Marines and a soldier assigned to a Marine expeditionary force were killed in Iraq on Oct. 20, military officials reported.

A fourth Marine was killed during operations on Oct. 19.

Three Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), were killed in a roadside-bomb attack on their vehicle a near Nasser Wa Salaam. During the subsequent engagement, Marines killed two terrorists and detained four others suspected of involvement in the attack.

In Hit, a soldier assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), died of wounds suffered from an indirect-fire attack. Several Army units are attached to 2nd MEF during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Near Karbala on Oct. 19, a vehicle-borne bomb killed a Marine from the 2nd MEF's Regimental Combat Team 2.

The names of the deceased are being withheld pending notification of the families.

In other news from Iraq, Task Force Liberty soldiers followed a civilian's tip and found a cache of explosives and weapons buried in several locations at a house in Bayji today.

The cache included more than 100 pounds of bulk explosives, several bags of TNT, a 155 mm artillery round encased in concrete, weapons and rocket-propelled grenade rounds. One suspect was detained and taken to a coalition forces base for questioning.

The soldiers also detained two terrorists planning a roaodside-bomb and automatic-weapons ambush south of Bayji on Oct. 20. Soldiers on a combat patrol observed the two suspects running from behind a berm along a major highway, and after detaining them found a loaded RPK machine gun behind the berm. Another Task Force Liberty patrol discovered two improvised bombs along the highway directly on the other side of the berm. One suspect was wearing body armor and the other had cellular telephones and wire cutters. Both tested positive for explosives residue. On Oct. 19 in Hit, Iraqi army and coalition troops detained nine men after coming under fire from the Al Sharqi mosque.

Troops from the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, and coalition forces were on patrol when they came under small-arms fire from the mosque. Iraqi troops swept the area and rounded up nine military-aged men outside the mosque. The suspects tested positive for explosives residue, but Iraqi troops' search of the building turned up nothing significant. The nine suspects are being held for further questioning.

Responding to a tip, Iraqi police detained a car-bomb maker in Kirkuk on Oct. 19. At the reported location, police officers discovered a black BMW that was set up as a car bomb. Police detained a man and disarmed the bomb, which contained two 82 mm mortar rounds, two Katusha rockets and an undetermined quantity of TNT. Officers also confiscated a Turkish-made pistol and two night-vision sights for rocket-propelled-grenade launchers. The suspect was taken into custody for further questioning.

Iraqi army and coalition forces also found and cleared two roadside bombs north of Abayachi on Oct. 19. An Iraqi army patrol found the first bombs consisting of a 130 mm round with a radio-controlled-ignition device.

Coalition troops swept the area and found a second one consisting of a 120 mm round about 150 meters from the first. Explosive experts cleared both sites.

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

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