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Two U.S. Soldiers Killed, Several Injured in Attacks

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2004 – A car bomb attack late Sept. 18 in Baghdad killed two Task Force Baghdad soldiers and wounded eight more, military officials reported.

Today three more U.S. soldiers were injured and an Iraqi soldier killed in a separate car bomb attack.

The Task Force Baghdad soldiers killed and injured Saturday were en route to the site of an earlier attack when the bomb exploded around 4 p.m. Three vehicles were also destroyed in that attack

The names of the soldiers killed are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The injured soldiers were evacuated to a nearby military medical facility.

The car bomb attack today left one Iraqi soldier dead and three 1st Infantry Division soldiers wounded near Samarra when anti-Iraqi forces attacked a patrol around 3 p.m.

Military officials reported the patrol was approaching a four-door sedan when it exploded. The soldiers were evacuated to a Multinational Force Iraq medical facility for treatment.

Elsewhere in the country today, multinational forces conducted a precision strike on anti-Iraqi forces at an armed checkpoint on the northern outskirts of Fallujah.

Military officials stated that anti-Iraqi forces with reported links to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had been operating an illegal checkpoint in the area and were heavily armed.

The release also stated that checkpoint was linked to kidnappings and executions in the Fallujah area. Evidence indicates Iraqi citizens had been kidnapped at such checkpoints, taken to outlying areas where they were forced to dig their own graves and then executed, officials said.

In Baghdad, clan chiefs are trying to come up with a plan to end the violence in the city there, officials said.

Today, more than 10 al Thawra clan chiefs met with a city council member at the Baghdad City Council headquarters to discuss a 12-point agreement to cease hostilities in eastern Baghdad. No American or Multinational Force representatives were in attendance, officials said.

The 12-point agreement calls for the end of hostilities in eastern Baghdad and the turn-in of weapons. Such weapons turn-ins had worked in the past. However, military officials stated, Muqtada al-Sadr's militia had previously agreed to turn-in heavy weapons and disband, but there is no evidence they have complied.

Multinational forces have established turn-in sites, but the militia has yet to use them, a release stated.

"Multinational forces will not agree to leave al Thawra until Iraqi security forces are fully capable of securing the city," Army Col. Bryan Roberts, a spokesman for the 1st Cavalry Division, said.

"Our security forces will continue to conduct operations when and where necessary," he added.

Roberts said that al-Sadr's militia continues to use "threats and violence" to prevent over 17,000 Iraqis from working on $160 million worth of essential- services projects designed to improve the lives of the citizens of eastern Baghdad.

"Their random acts of violence have killed innumerable innocent Iraqi civilians and will not be tolerated," Roberts said. "Our forces stand firm: Muqtada's militia must disarm and disband."

In other news today, 11 Iraqi students were injured in Baqubah when a mortar round exploded near the Baqubah Technical College. Two addition mortar rounds did not explode.

During the incident, which happened at approximately 9 a.m., anti-Iraqi forces attacked Iraqi National Guard and police who came to investigate the incident.

Military officials also reported that several anti-Iraqi forces were killed today when an explosive device they were preparing backfired near the Wasit Province town of Suqayra.

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