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Car Bomb Strikes Marine Convoy in Fallujah

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2005 – Two Marines assigned to 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) were killed and 13 were wounded when a suicide car bomber struck their convoy June 23 in Fallujah, Iraq, U.S. military officials in Baghdad reported.

Three other Marines and a sailor believed to be in the vehicle are listed as "duty status whereabouts unknown" pending a positive identification of remains, officials said. At least three women are among the servicemembers killed, according to press reports.

The names of the dead are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In other news from Iraq, Iraqi security and coalition forces disrupted an attack against the Baghdad Major Crimes Unit June 22. The operation resulted in the capture of 13 terrorists. One Iraqi policeman and five Iraqi soldiers were wounded in the failed attack.

A patrol from the 36th Engineer Group, 3rd Infantry Division, disrupted a blocking position being established by terrorists. Elements of 1st Battalion, 156th Armor Regiment, 256th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, quickly secured the site and drove the terrorists from the area.

At about the same time, elements of 4th Battalion, 1st Iraqi Army Brigade, and 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry, and 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, both of the 256th Brigade Combat Team, interdicted a mortar team and squad-sized elements of terrorists moving toward the Major Crimes Unit from the west and south.

Within 30 minutes, Iraqi and coalition forces gained the upper hand and forced the terrorists to give up, officials said. Sweeps of the area resulted in the capture of terrorists trying to flee from the foiled attack.

The 3rd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division officials had learned of an attack being planned against the Major Crimes Unit. This information was immediately reported to coalition and Iraqi security forces patrols in the vicinity.

This is the second failed attempt by terrorists against the Major Crimes Unit, U.S. officials in Baghdad reported. On May 29, Iraqi police successfully defended their complex during an attack.

"Iraqi security forces continue to demonstrate their courage and ability to gain control of their own security and to protect critical facilities by working together as a combined team," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. John Basilica Jr., commander of the 256th Brigade Combat Team.

Elsewhere in Iraq, Iraqi troops of the 1st Battalion of the 4th Public Order Brigade and 1st Battalion, Wolf Brigade, conducted a joint raid June 21 to capture anti-Iraqi forces in the Al Rasheed district of Baghdad.

The Iraqi public-order forces detained 47 suspects and confiscated numerous suspected car bombs, rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and ammunition.

Troops from the Wolf Brigade captured 42 detainees and confiscated an AK-47 assault rifle and a variety of materials used in the construction of suicide vests. One of those detained by 1st Battalion was later released.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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