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Five Soldiers Killed in Iraq, Insurgent Search Continues

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2005 – Five Task Force Baghdad soldiers were killed July 30 during two separate bomb attacks while patrolling Baghdad neighborhoods, Multinational Force Iraq officials announced.

One soldier was killed when a patrol struck an improvised explosive device around 1:40 p.m. in Dora, south of Baghdad. Four more soldiers were killed when their patrol southwest of Baghdad struck an improvised explosive device, around 11 p.m., officials said.

Two soldiers were wounded in the Dora attack.

The names of the soldiers killed are being withheld until their families are notified, and both incidents are under investigation, officials said.

Elsewhere in Iraq, Marines from Regimental Combat Team 2 were attacked today with mortar fire from terrorists operating in a local schoolhouse just southeast of Haditha, according to U.S. military officials at Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi.

The schoolhouse was rigged with explosives and fortified with .30-caliber machine guns in the windows, officials said. Coalition forces determined that the school was being used as a weapons cache site.

The engagement began while coalition forces were conducting a cordon and search of the area, during which a weapons cache of rockets was discovered nearby. When coalition troops counter attacked the schoolhouse, they were supported by M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks and combat aircraft that dropped bombs on targets.

Officials described secondary explosions as being larger detonations than those from the bombs that were dropped.

No civilian casualties were reported and the school was not in session at the time.

Several terrorists were confirmed killed during the incident.

In Samarra, Task Force Liberty soldiers killed one terrorist and captured two others July 30 after observing them trying to emplace a 155 mm artillery shell roadside bomb in a hole one of them had been digging earlier in Samarra, U.S. military officials in Tikrit reported today.

During a search of the area, troops found two more 155 mm rounds, wire and a cell phone inside a nearby car.

While working in west Baghdad July 28, a Task Force Baghdad unit discovered a weapons cache containing bomb-making materials, detonation devices and a roadside bomb in the beginning stages of construction, officials noted.

Fifteen minutes later, another group of Task Force Baghdad soldiers found a car bomb in an old truck stopped in the middle of a road in the Karb de Gla district of south Baghdad. The soldiers noticed wires running from the car and followed them to a location where they found three suspected terrorists. The suspects were taken into custody and an explosives team safely detonated the bomb, officials said.

Over the course of the day, coalition forces found three more roadside bombs in south Baghdad and another bomb in north Baghdad before terrorists could use them. Explosives ordnance disposal teams safely detonated the bombs.

Iraqi and U.S. troops also nabbed 10 terror suspects while carrying out early morning combat operations throughout Iraq's capital city of Baghdad July 27, according to a Task Force Baghdad public affairs spokesperson.

Three of the detainees were specifically targeted individuals, including a man thought to be an arms dealer who was captured by Macedonian soldiers in northwest Baghdad.

Iraqi police and Task Force Baghdad soldiers were chasing a vehicle driven by terrorists when it flipped over. One of the two men in the car got out and the Iraqi police arrested him, officials said. The other man came out of the car waving a pistol at the patrol and was killed by the Iraqi-U.S. patrol.

Earlier in the day, Task Force Baghdad soldiers found a roadside bomb near a major highway in south Baghdad. The bomb exploded after the patrol cordoned off the area, officials said.

No one was injured in the blast, but the soldiers saw a vehicle speeding away after the explosion. Iraqi army soldiers manning a checkpoint 200 yards away stopped the car and took all three of the occupants into custody for questioning.

Less than two hours later, another Task Force Baghdad patrol struck a bomb in southwest Baghdad. No one was injured in the attack, but officials said soldiers saw a man behind a nearby building flee the scene on foot and was picked up by a car. The patrol chased the car, caught it and captured the three occupants in the vehicle.

When the soldiers searched the car, they found traces of explosives material inside. The three men were taken into custody for questioning.

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