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Three Soldiers Killed; Iraqi Civilians Injured in Terrorist Attack

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2005 – Three U.S. soldiers died in two incidents in Iraq today.

Two Task Force Baghdad soldiers were killed when their patrol struck an improvised explosive device in southern Baghdad.

Elsewhere, a Task Force Liberty soldier died as a result of injuries sustained when the vehicle in which he was traveling struck a landmine southwest of Bayji in the early-morning hours. Four other soldiers in the vehicle were also injured. Two were treated and returned to duty.

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

In other news from Iraq, terrorist-launched mortar rounds fell short of the Abu Ghraib prison at 1:30 p.m. local time today. One woman and two children were injured in the attack. Task Force Baghdad soldiers from 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, responded to the attack and transported the injured to a local hospital.

Also today, coalition forces acting on tips from concerned citizens conducted a series of raids on suspected terrorist and foreign fighter safe houses in Husaybah, killing an estimated 10 terrorists. The houses were used as launch points to conduct attacks against local Iraqi citizens, Iraqi security and coalition forces.

During the raids, which occurred simultaneously in two separate neighborhoods of Husaybah, numerous terrorists engaged coalition forces. Firefights developed at both locations, during which coalition forces called in close-air support and destroyed both of the terrorist strongholds.

As the coalition forces were leaving the area, they were alerted to another suspected terrorist house with fortified fighting positions. After further investigation, the troops called in an air strike, destroying the terrorist stronghold with precision-guided munitions.

A day earlier but in the same town, coalition forces using precision air-strike capabilities targeted a senior al Qaeda foreign fighter believed to be holding a meeting with other senior members of the terror organization.

Sources indicated Abu Mahmud and other leaders were meeting to discuss an upcoming attack on Iraqi security or coalition forces. Mahmud, believed to be a Saudi, was the commander of several foreign-fighter and terrorist cells in Husaybah and was linked to several al Qaeda terrorist facilitators in the Qaim, Karabilah and Husaybah areas.

He directed, planned and executed many of the foreign-fighter attacks on Iraqi security and coalition forces, to include most car-bomb and IED attacks. He was also personally active in direct attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces.

The use of precision-guided munitions to destroy the two adjoining foreign-fighter safe houses and the timing of the strike mitigated the risk to civilians in the local area, officials said.

Elsewhere in Iraq in recent days, Iraqi security forces and multinational forces from Task Force Freedom killed two terrorists, wounded another, detained 78 suspected terrorists, and seized a number of weapons during operations Oct. 24-28.

  • Iraqi border patrol officers detained four individuals suspected of terrorist activity at a checkpoint near the Syrian border Oct. 28.
  • Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment detained three individuals suspected of terrorist activity and seized a weapons cache of several artillery shells during separate operations south of Tal Afar Oct. 28.
  • U.S. soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, detained 27 individuals suspected of terrorist activity, wounded one terrorist, and seized a weapons cache during operations in Mosul Oct. 26-28.
  • Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, detained one individual for violating curfew while patrolling in western Mosul Oct. 28. Soldiers from the same unit also killed two terrorists after receiving small-arms fire in eastern Mosul Oct. 24.
  • Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, detained three individuals suspected of terrorist activity during operations in western Mosul Oct. 25-26.
  • Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, detained 34 individuals suspected of terrorist activity and seized numerous weapons during separate operations in Tal Afar Oct. 25-28. The weapons seized included AK-47 rifles, more than 100 rounds of ammunition, fuses, AK-47 magazines, blocks of PE-4 explosives, and an artillery shell.
  • Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, detained five individuals suspected of terrorist activity during separate operations in Tal Afar Oct. 26-28.
  • Iraqi army soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 3rd Battalion, detained an individual suspected of terrorist activity in Tal Afar Oct. 24.

"Iraqi security forces, supported by multinational forces, continue operations in an effort to provide safety and security to the citizens of the region," a Task Force Freedom spokesman said in a statement.

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

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