Three U.S. Soldiers, Two Iraqis Die in Bombing
By K.L. Vantran
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2004 Three 4th Infantry Division soldiers and two Iraqi Civil Defense Corps personnel died and two Americans were wounded this morning when a Bradley fighting vehicle struck an improvised explosive device near Taji, about 20 miles north of Baghdad, Combined Joint Task Force 7 officials reported.
The soldiers were part of a patrol looking for IEDs. The first Bradley in the patrol caught fire when the device exploded. A quick-reaction force cordoned the area and detained three men fleeing in a white truck. Soldiers found IED- making materials in the vehicle and detained the men for questioning.
The wounded soldiers were evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, and were reported to be in stable condition.
In a separate incident, a U.S. soldier died from a non-hostile gunshot Jan. 16 near Diwaniyah, according to a CJTF 7 news release.
The soldiers' names are being withheld pending next-of-kin notification, and the incidents are under investigation.
In other news from Iraq, Task Force All American continued operations in the Anbar province. In the last 24 hours, they conducted 213 patrols to include 13 joint patrols and cleared three weapons caches.
Elements of 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division identified an improvised explosive device north of Habbaniyah, according to a CJTF 7 news release. The device was built from four SA-3 warheads, each wrapped in about 45 pounds of TNT. An explosive ordnance disposal team disarmed the devices.
Soldiers in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment's area of operations identified 36 explosions near a border checkpoint, according to the same release. A quick reaction force conducted reconnaissance and observed a van heading east. The force encountered two rocket-propelled grenades. Coalition forces returned fire, killing two attackers. The unit conducted a cordon-and-search operation at a compound where the van stopped, and captured six enemy personnel. They also confiscated an RPG launcher and a 62 mm rocket.