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Four U.S. Contractors Die in Iraq Accident; Earlier Casualty Identified

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 2, 2006 – Four U.S. civilian contractors died in Iraq Jan. 1. The same day, Defense Department officials identified a soldier who died earlier this week.

The contractors died in a non-hostile vehicle accident at Al Asad Air Base Jan 1. The contractors were riding in a bus that was hit by a 7-ton truck. Eighteen civilians were injured, nine requiring hospitalization. Eight of those were medically evacuated to Baghdad, and the ninth was taken to a combat hospital north of Baghdad. One Marine was also slightly injured in the accident. Officials are investigating the cause of the accident.

The names of the deceased and injured are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Defense officials announced the identity of a soldier who was killed Dec. 30 supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom:

  • Army Pvt. Jonathan R. Pfender, 22, of Evansville, Ind., died in Bayji, Iraq, on Dec. 30, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during patrol operations. Pfender was assigned to the Army's 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Defense Department news releases.)

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