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U.S. Marine Killed; Operations to Halt Insurgency Continue in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2004 – A U.S. Marine was killed Sept. 17 and three U.S. soldiers wounded today as violence continues in Iraq.

Military officials in Baghdad said the Marine, assigned to 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, was killed while conducting security and stability operations in the al Anbar Province of Iraq.

Meanwhile, three U.S. soldiers were wounded when a car bomb exploded on a road leading to Baghdad International Airport, military officials also reported.

The wounded soldiers were medically evacuated to a nearby military hospital.

Elsewhere, three Iraqi citizens were wounded in another bomb attack at about 10 a.m. in central Baghdad.

According to a Multinational Force Iraq press release, initial reports from the scene indicate that a portion of the airport road has been closed to traffic while Task Force Baghdad soldiers investigate and secure the blast area.

According to reports, a Task Force Baghdad patrol in the area heard the explosion and proceeded to the blast area to investigate and render assistance.

Initial reports from the site indicate that three Iraqi civilians were wounded in the blast, although outside media reports put the number wounded as high as 20. Both attacks are under investigation.

Meanwhile today, multinational forces detained seven individuals wanted for planning and conducting anti-Iraqi activities in the city of Tal Afar, U.S. military officials reported.

Soldiers from the 3rd Stryker Brigade's 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment took the individuals into custody. During the search of a residence, the soldiers discovered intelligence documents and confiscated two vehicles.

The suspects are in custody, and no injuries were reported during the operation.

The media release also stated that multinational and Iraqi security forces are asking local Iraqi citizens to provide information that might lead to the capture and arrest of anti-Iraqi forces.

In Ramadi, multinational forces continue Operation Hurricane II, an effort to clear and remove illegal weapons and ammunition caches from the streets and disrupt the Daham terrorist network, a U.S. official said today.

Soldiers and Marines from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Marine Division are taking part in the operation, which began at 3 a.m.

A military official said the Daham terrorist network is responsible for a wide spectrum of terrorist and criminal activities against the Iraqi people and multinational forces in the al Anbar Province.

Earlier this week, a similar operation in another part of the town resulted in the detention of four suspected anti-Iraqi forces, the removal of six improvised explosive devices and the confiscation of IED making materials, including cell phone parts.

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