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Five Troops in US-Led Patrol Killed, Three Missing in Attack South of Baghdad

12 May 2007

The U.S. military says five soldiers were killed and three are missing from a pre-dawn attack on a U.S.-led coalition patrol south of Baghdad.

Chief U.S. military spokesman Major General William Caldwell said the patrol of seven U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi army interpreter was attacked near Mahmoudiya.

A massive search is under way for the three missing soldiers.

Caldwell said nearby units heard explosions, and a drone plane later observed burning vehicles. He said forces that arrived at the scene found the five soldiers who were killed.

He did not say whether the five dead soldiers were all Americans, nor did he disclose the fate of the Iraqi army interpreter.

In other news, the military says coalition forces detained three suspected terrorists and destroyed a vehicle bomb during an operation Saturday in Sadr City.

On Friday, the U.S. commander in northern Iraq said he does not have enough manpower to secure the increasingly violent Diyala province. Major General Benjamin Mixon made the remarks to reporters at the Pentagon by videoconference.

Iraqi security forces man their checkpoint in downtown Baghdad, 11 May 2007
In Baghdad Friday, suicide bombers killed at least 23 people and wounded 60 others in two attacks. They struck checkpoints protecting two bridges in the Zafaraniyah neighborhood.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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