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Marine Killed by Indirect Fire, Terrorist Complex Destroyed

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2005 – A Marine assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), was killed Sept. 15 from an indirect-fire explosion at Forward Operating Base Camp Ramadi in Iraq, military officials announced today.

The Marine's name is being withheld, pending family notification. In other Iraq news, coalition forces raided an al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist complex south of Haditha that contained a car-bomb factory and weapons caches. Tips from local citizens and intelligence resources had confirmed the 12-building complex's existence.

All terrorists had fled the facility before the coalition had arrived, but forces found that three buildings had been used to store weapons and explosives, as well as to make the car bombs. Their findings included two weapons caches with mortars and artillery shells in one building and a significant number of rocket-propelled grenade rounds, launchers, AK-47 assault rifles, plus other small arms and ammunition in another building. Coalition forces also found three car bombs ready for use and two vehicles rigged as bombs but awaiting explosives.

Coalition air forces then destroyed the Euphrates River Valley complex with precision-guided munitions at a time to lessen the risk to local civilians. The complex was located south of Haditha in a remote area. Coalition forces conducted another air strike Sept. 15 against a known terrorist safe house and weapons cache in the western Anbar province border town of Karabilah.

The target was an abandoned school used by al Qaeda-in-Iraq terrorists to carry out attacks against local civilians and coalition forces. At the time of the strike, terrorists were also observed firing mortars from outside the building.

Two AV8-B Harrier jets destroyed the building using precision-guided 500-pound bombs. Coalition forces reported seeing multiple secondary explosions after the strike.

Nine terrorists were confirmed killed and one vehicle destroyed.

This latest action comes as Marines based near Karabilah have reported an escalation in fighting between al Qaeda-in-Iraq terrorists and local tribes as terrorists have tried to gain control of the city from its citizens. But officials note that local leaders and sheikhs in western Anbar province continue to resist the al Qaeda-in-Iraq murder and intimidation campaign.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 44 close air support and armed reconnaissance sorties Sept. 15 for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Elsewhere in Iraq, a joint Task Force Liberty and Iraqi army raid captured five suspected terrorists near Jalula in eastern Diyala province today. The detainees are suspected of being financers, recruiters and arms dealers for a terrorist organization.

The suspects were taken to a coalition base for questioning.

(Based on Multinational Force Iraq and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)

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