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Soldiers Survive IED Blast; Iranian Opposition Members Kidnapped

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2005 – Soldiers from Task Force Baghdad avoided injury Aug. 13 after their Bradley fighting vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device near the Sadr City neighborhood in Baghdad, Iraq, military officials reported.

Following the attack, soldiers from Company A, 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, exited the vehicle and secured the area. Additional U.S. Army units responded to secure the site, while Baghdad civil defense responders helped extinguish the fire.

Initially, the fire could not be put out because ammunition in the Bradley was exploding due to the extreme heat. Iraqi firefighters were able to subdue the fire, and the Bradley was safely towed to a U.S. military installation.

The incident is under investigation.

In eastern Baghdad, two members of the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq were abducted on Aug. 4 while on a routine logistics trip to the city, officials reported. The MEK have been considered protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which relates to the protection of civilians during times of war, since June 2004. The group relinquished its weapons, including tanks, armored vehicles, and heavy artillery, under a cease-fire agreement.

Several thousand MEK members are confined to Camp Ashraf, the MEK's main compound north of Baghdad, where they remain under coalition control.

"Multinational Force Iraq strongly condemns the abduction of persons protected by the Geneva Convention," MNFI officials said in a statement.

Upon learning of the abduction, MNFI officials immediately requested that the Iraqi police investigate the abduction, and are assisting in attempts to find the missing men. MNFI units have checked with numerous police and Ministry of Interior units and stations and have notified the MNFI hostage working group.

Officials are undertaking a complete review of security risks and procedures in relation to trips off Camp Ashraf by MEK members in light of the abduction.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Task Force Baghdad news releases.)

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