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Non-Hostile Incident Kills Soldier in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2005 – A soldier assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, died March 28 in a non-hostile incident in Iraq while in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, military officials in Baghdad reported today.

They provided no further details.

In other news, Task Force Baghdad soldiers detained five suspected terrorists during March 28 cordon-and-search operations. Another Task Force Baghdad unit seized a weapons cache consisting of rifles, ammunition and other suspicious materials. Soldiers with 265th Brigade Combat Team uncovered three weapons caches in the Baghdad area.

Also on March 28, Task Force Baghdad soldiers in south Baghdad encountered three improvised explosive devices and came under fire three times in separate attacks. Later that day, a rocket exploded near the front gate of a U.S. forward operating base. No one was injured and no equipment was damaged in the attacks.

Less than an hour later, an IED struck a Marine unit traveling in south Baghdad. The Marines detained three suspects. One, believed to be a bomb maker, had two cell phones, which could have been used to detonate the IED.

An IED in south Baghdad blew up as Task Force Baghdad soldiers on patrol were passing by. After the explosion, the unit came under small-arms fire. The soldiers received air support from a helicopter and returned fire for about 10 minutes before the criminals fled. No soldiers were injured in the attack.

IEDs detonated near two patrols in west Baghdad. And another IED struck soldiers on patrol in the northern part of the city. No injuries were reported in any of the three incidents.

"Though our soldiers continue to encounter IEDs while on patrol, we're seeing a pattern of diminishing effectiveness in these attacks," said Lt. Col. John Charlton, Task Force Baghdad's chief of operations and training. "The people who plant these roadside bombs are not just attacking Americans, they are attacking the future of Iraq. If these bomb makers would spend even 1 percent of their energy on building a free and peaceful Iraq, this country would quickly become a leader in this part of the world."

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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