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Three Soldiers Killed; Missing Detainee Recaptured

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2005 – Three soldiers were killed and seven injured during an April 16 indirect fire attack on Camp Ramadi, Iraq, Multinational Force Iraq officials reported today.

Officials said the attackers fled into a nearby mosque, but the Iraqi security forces who pursued them came up empty when searching the building.

Of the seven soldiers injured, three were evacuated and four were treated for minor injuries. Two have returned to duty.

Also in Iraq, officials are crediting cooperation between Iraqi and U.S. security forces for the recapture of the last of 11 detainees who escaped from an internment facility in southeastern Iraq early April 16.

An investigation showed that the detainees used a makeshift tool to break the fence wire and dig a hole that enabled them to slip below the perimeter fence and exit the compound, officials said.

U.S. forces discovered the hole in the fence at about 1:30 a.m. April 16. The quick-reaction force and all available guards searched the camp's perimeter and alerted Iraqi security forces and other coalition elements, officials said.

Iraqi security forces quickly recaptured 10 of the escapees but continued their search until they recaptured the 11th escapee later on April 16. Officials said all escapees were captured in the same general area, about 15 kilometers northwest of the Camp Bucca detention facility, officials said.

All 11 escapees were transferred back to the control of U.S. forces at Camp Bucca, which holds more than 6,000 detainees, officials said.

The recaptured detainees have all been declared security risks under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546, officials said. They are charged with infractions ranging from possession of illegal weapons to terrorist attacks against the Iraqi people and coalition forces.

The detainees will now face an added charge of escape when their cases are tried before the Central Criminal Court of Iraq, officials said.

Elsewhere, Iraqi security forces reportedly conducted a door-to-door search today for Shiite citizens kidnapped by Sunni insurgents during an April 16 raid on a Shiite mosque south of Baghdad, in Madain.

Press reports included widely conflicting information about number of hostages taken.

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