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Two Soldiers Killed in Iraq; Two Terrorists Self-Destruct

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2005 – A soldier assigned to the 43rd Military Police Brigade was killed in action by an improvised explosive device in the vicinity of Baqubah, Iraq, Nov. 3, military officials reported.

Elsewhere, a 1st Corps Support Command soldier died as a result of non-battle related causes Nov. 3 at about 11:15 p.m. near Tallil.

Officials released no further details on these incidents. The names of the soldiers are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In other developments, two terrorists attempting to build a car bomb were killed when the device prematurely detonated in central Baghdad Nov. 2. The explosion also killed an Iraqi civilian and set a nearby house on fire. Iraqi firefighters responded to douse the flames.

Elements of Task Force Baghdad dispatched included an explosives ordnance disposal team and a patrol from 6th Squadron, 8th Calvary Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

The EOD team determined the terrorists had been building the vehicle-carried IED using a 122 mm projectile, ball bearings and about 80 pounds of homemade explosives. During a sweep of the house, the soldiers found another 122 mm projectile, five hand grenades, three AK-47 assault rifles, an RPK machine gun, and AK-47 magazines.

In other operations, Iraqi army troops and coalition forces engaged terrorists and seized a cache during a firefight Nov. 2 northeast of Ramadi.

Troops from the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, and coalition forces engaged a group of 15 terrorists armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled-grenade launchers when their patrol was attacked. Troops killed several terrorists during the engagement.

A vehicle loaded with a cache of ordnance was discovered in the vicinity of the initial attack. An inventory produced one machine gun, two automatic rifles, two RPG launchers, more than 1,200 rounds of various small arms ammunition, 10 propellant sticks, two license plates, three Iraqi army uniforms, and some documents. The contraband was turned over to authorities for further processing.

In Baghdad, Task Force Baghdad soldiers caught several terrorists in the act of carrying out attacks Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. During combat operations, cordons, searches and raids in various districts of the city, U.S. soldiers detained numerous terrorists and confiscated several weapons caches.

On Nov. 2, soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, detained four individuals at a checkpoint in southern Baghdad after discovering the suspects were carrying fake identification cards. Upon further investigation, the soldiers learned the vehicle was believed to have been involved in a previous mortar attack. Another vehicle was searched due to suspicious activity on the part of the driver; he was also detained. All five terror suspects were turned over to Iraqi security forces.

Another Task Force Baghdad unit on patrol in northeastern Baghdad Nov. 1 discovered a weapons cache after receiving a tip from a local resident. Inside a shed, the soldiers, from 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, found an RPG launcher, a PKC machine gun, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and several hundred Iraqi and U.S. Army uniforms.

One unit operating in the Abu Ghraib district in western Baghdad reported engaging in small-arms fire with a group of terrorists Oct. 31. When the gunfire subsided, the soldiers, from 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, along with Task Force Baghdad aviation assets, searched a palm grove for enemy forces and found four terror suspects, one of whom was wounded.

The soldiers also confiscated a number of weapons, including a 9 mm pistol and a 9 mm "grease gun," along with magazines. Continuing to search the area, the troops detained another three individuals who tried to flee.

The injured terrorist was taken to a nearby medical treatment facility where he later died of his wounds.

In other Iraq news, coalition forces identified five al Qaeda leaders killed by an air strike in Husaybah Oct. 29.

Coalition forces conducted a series of raids on suspected terrorist and foreign fighter safe houses to capture or kill terrorists operating in the town of Husaybah. During the raids, coalition forces destroyed three safe houses with air strikes using precision-guided munitions. One of the safe houses destroyed was the location of an apparent meeting between al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist leaders from the Husaybah and Qaim areas, officials said.

Coalition forces now confirm the deaths of five key al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist leaders who were killed in that meeting. They are:

  • Abu Asil, a North African terrorist, was the senior al Qaeda in Iraq foreign-fighter facilitator in the Qaim region and an associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. His influence stretched across Anbar province, and he was relied upon to provide foreign fighters and suicide bombers to terrorist cells in the region. Asil had contacts throughout the Middle East involved in the recruiting, transportation, training and smuggling of foreign fighters and suicide bombers into Iraq.
  • Abu Raghad, a senior al Qaeda in Iraq foreign fighter terrorist cell leader who operated in the Husaybah area. He was responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing attacks against coalition forces. Those attacks include the emplacement of IEDs and mines and the facilitation, production and use of car bombs.
  • Abu Talha, an al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist-cell leader in the Ubaydi area. Talha directed, planned, coordinated and executed terrorist attacks in and around Ubaydi. Specifically, Talha's cell was responsible for the production, emplacement and implementation of IED and car-bomb attacks in the area.
  • Abu Usama and Abu Salman, al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist cell leaders in the Husaybah area who were active in carrying out local terrorist attacks. Besides planning and conducting terrorist attacks, they procured weapons such as rockets, anti-aircraft missiles and mines for use against coalition forces. The weapons then would be distributed to their terrorist cells to be used in attacks against Iraqi security and coalition forces.

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

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