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3 Soldiers Killed in Iraq, Sidewinder Ends

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2003 – Two Americans died yesterday following attacks and another died as a result of an explosion early this morning. All three were members of the 1st Armored Division and all the attacks took place in Baghdad.

The soldiers' names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In the first incident, a soldier was shot in the head at point blank range at Baghdad University. He was evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Another 1st Armored Division soldier died during a firefight in the Ad Hamiyah neighborhood when Two Iraqi gunmen opened fire on a patrol. The soldiers pursued the Iraqis and in the subsequent firefight the soldier was killed. One gunman died and the other was wounded.

A second soldier was killed by an explosion early this morning when a rocket- propelled grenade struck the soldier's vehicle.

Combined Joint Task Force7 officials announced the end of Operation Sidewinder. The weeklong operation was aimed at Ba'ath Party sympathizers and remnants of the Fedayeen Saddam and Republican Guard. The 4th Infantry Division conducted the operation.

Officials said that soldiers detained 282 Iraqis and seized weapons, ammunition and money. Officials said there were 30 Iraqi casualties during the operation and 28 soldiers hurt. No coalition forces were killed during the operation.

Officials said the forces used intelligence garnered from earlier interrogations to target Ba'ath Party loyalists, enemy forces and former Iraqi military leaders. The 4th Infantry Division will continue to conduct raids in the so-called Sunni Triangle bounded by Baghdad, Ar Ramadi and Tikrit.

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