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Soldiers Foil Illegal Border Crossing, Kill Attackers

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2003 – U.S. soldiers prevented an illegal border crossing and killed or captured attackers in three weekend incidents, officials at Combined Joint Task Force 7 in Iraq reported today.

Soldiers from the Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment detained six suspected foreign fighters who were trying to flee from Iraq into Syria the night of Nov. 16. One suspect attacked a soldier with a knife, and was shot and killed. Officials confiscated passports, airline tickets and a large sum of money from the captured men, and are holding them for questioning.

In another Nov. 16 incident, two men carrying AK-47 assault rifles approached an observation post and began firing when warned to stop. Paratroopers from 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division killed one of the attackers. The other escaped and has not yet been found, task force officials said.

Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry part of the 4th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team -- killed three attackers who fired on their patrol in Mansurrat, Iraq, Nov. 15. One attacker was killed when the soldiers returned automatic- weapons fire. Searching the area, the soldiers found the other two attackers at a house. One already was dead as a result of the earlier firefight, and the other was killed in another exchange when he tried to flee.

The U.S. troops found two AK-47s, a roll of detonation cord and a bag of wire at the house. Officials said they believe the attackers were placing an improvised explosive device when they encountered the patrol.

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