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U.S. Soldier, Eight Iraqis Killed in Separate IED Blasts

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2005 – A Task Force Liberty soldier was killed and two others were wounded today by improvised explosive devices north of Samarra, Iraq, Multinational Force Iraq officials reported.

The wounded soldiers were taken to a coalition forces medical facility, but officials provided no details on their condition.

At about the same time, a vehicle-borne IED detonated near the police station in Tikrit. Initial media reports say as many as 15 Iraqis were killed.

Elsewhere in Iraq, Iraqi and U.S. forces clashed with terrorists Feb. 23 in and around the city of Haqlaniya. The U.S. response included aircraft providing close-air support to troops in contact with terrorists on two separate occasions.

An Air Force AC-130 Spectre gunship fired 17 40 mm rounds in support of Marines from Regimental Combat Team 7, 1st Marine Division, who were engaged in combat with terrorists near the city. Later, U.S. jets dropped two 500-pound bombs on insurgent fighting positions after terrorists ambushed a Marine patrol with small arms and heavy machine gun fire.

There were no U.S. casualties in either engagement, officials said.

Iraqi soldiers from the Freedom Guards Battalion of the Iraqi National Guard, supported by U.S. Marines, detained three military-aged men at a mosque in Haqlaniya at about.

Also on Feb. 23, U.S. forces detained 29 terrorists and seized several weapons caches during operations throughout Anbar province. Those detentions bring to 87 the number of suspected terrorists detained since Operation River Blitz began Feb. 20, officials said. The operation targets terrorists working in and around four cities along the Euphrates River.

The weapons caches seized include 14 AK-47 assault rifles, 15 rocket-propelled grenade rounds, three RPG launchers, four rifles, a shotgun, four RPK machine guns, a submachine gun, an anti-aircraft gun, a pistol, 300 7.62 mm rounds, 94 14.5 mm rounds, 161 20 mm rounds, five 30 mm anti-aircraft rounds, a complete 82 mm mortar system, four 120 mm mortar rounds, two 130 mm projectiles, five 155 mm artillery rounds, 11 rockets, 100 pounds of rocket propellant, 96 rifle grenades, 91 hand grenades, and a vehicle-borne IED.

Insurgent propaganda and materials to make IEDs also were found with the weapons caches, officials said.

Iraqi security forces found another large weapons cache the same day during operations in northern Iraq. Though initial reports had indicated coalition soldiers were involved in discovering an extremely large cache of IEDs, Iraqi Intervention Force troops actually led in the discovery of the cache while conducting a cordon-and-search operation in western Mosul. The IIF is a counterinsurgency component of Iraq's army. The cache included 65 artillery rounds, detonation cord, a wired car bomb, an explosive charge and other IED materials.

IIF raids led to the discovery of two IEDs and the materials to make more inside a house in northwest Iraq on Feb. 23. Acting on a tip, Iraqi soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, were conducting raids when they made the discovery. The IEDs were destroyed and four people detained.

In northern Iraq, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces detained seven people suspected of terrorist activity during operations Feb. 23.

Troops of the 104th Iraqi army and coalition soldiers detained six suspected terrorists during cordon-and-search operations in eastern Mosul. ISF also confiscated an AK-47 and ammunition. IIF troops and coalition soldiers detained another suspected terrorist during a cordon-and-search operation in central Mosul.

Coalition forces were able to defuse an IED today, thanks to a tip provided by an Iraqi citizen in northern Iraq. The citizen's call to the Joint Coordination Center hotline led coalition soldiers to an IED in Tal Afar, and they were able to defuse it.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq news releases.)

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Multinational Force Iraq
Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq

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