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Roadside Bomb Kills Soldier; Northern Iraq Raids Net 10 Suspects

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2005 – A U.S. soldier died today after his convoy struck a roadside bomb in southeastern Baghdad, Iraq, military officials reported.

The bomb exploded and injured the soldier, who died while being taken to a military hospital. The name of the soldier is being withheld until notification of next of kin.

In the Mosul area of northern Iraq, a series of joint U.S.-Iraqi raids conducted May 18 netted 10 suspected terrorists.

  • Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment detained three suspected terrorists in a raid conducted in southwestern Mosul.
  • Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment detained four suspected terrorists and seized explosives-making materials in two raids conducted in eastern Mosul.
  • Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment detained a terrorist cell leader and two other terrorists during a cordon-and-search operation in eastern Mosul.
On May 17 in eastern Baghdad, Iraqi citizens tipped off local police to a terrorist bomb threat for the second time in two days. The civilians noticed a suspicious vehicle parked near a neighborhood mosque and then alerted an Iraqi army unit. Iraqi soldiers arrived and cleared the area. The bomb exploded, causing no injuries or damage.

"This is the second time in two days that the Iraqi people have alerted Iraqi security forces to a vehicle-bomb threat, and once again extensive loss of life and property damage was averted due to the teamwork of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi police on site," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steven Merkel, commander of 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery. "Yesterday, I felt great about how well the Iraqi people were taking on the responsibility of dealing with their own security concerns. Today, I am even more convinced.

"It is obvious the momentum has shifted. The people are now fighting the terrorists, and it is the Iraqi people who will win this fight," Merkel continued. "We are here to help, but it is only with the Iraqi people working together that the terrorist threat will be defeated."

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Task Force Baghdad news releases.)

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