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Soldier, Marine Killed in Iraq; Previous Casualties Identified

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2007 – A U.S. soldier and a Marine died yesterday during operations in Iraq, officials said, and the Defense Department has identified two earlier casualties.

A Multinational Force Iraq soldier died when an improvised explosive device detonated as the soldier’s unit was conducting route clearance operations in western Baghdad, and a U.S. Marine assigned to Multinational Force West died while conducting combat operations in Iraq’s Anbar province.

The servicemembers’ names of are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Meanwhile, the Defense Department has identified two soldiers who died earlier this week.

-- Staff Sgt. Darrell R. Griffin Jr., 36, of Alhambra, Calif., died March 21 in Balad, Iraq, from wounds suffered when his unit came in contact with small-arms fire during combat operations. Griffin was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.

-- Sgt. Nicholas J. Lightner, 29, of Newport, Ore., died March 21 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit while on combat patrol March 15 in Baghdad. Lightner was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Defense Department news releases.)

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