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IED Kills One U.S. Soldier, Wounds Three; Troops Find Weapons Caches

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2005 – A 29th Brigade Combat Team soldier was killed and three were wounded today when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle near Balad, Multinational Force Iraq reported.

The three wounded soldiers were taken to a coalition medical facility. The dead soldier's name is being withheld until next of kin are notified.

Elsewhere in the country, American soldiers on patrol in the Baghdad area found a large explosives cache July 7.

The cache contained 40 pieces of dynamite and three pounds of C4 explosives.

"The more caches we find like this, the more lives we save," said Command Sgt. Maj. Cheyenn Fields, who serves with the 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry, 48th Brigade Combat Team.

After an explosive ordnance disposal team arrived to attend to the contraband, the soldiers continued on with their mission, Fields said.

The previous day, another U.S. patrol had discovered a weapons cache consisting of mortars and mines. Four individuals were detained in connection with the illegal munitions.

Also, American and Iraqi soldiers on patrol near Balad found four weapons caches and detained three individuals July 7. The caches yielded 19 60 mm mortar rounds, six rocket-propelled grenades and one RPG launcher, three 82 mm mortar rounds, two fragmentary grenades and several hundred 7.62 mm rounds.

The detainees were transferred to a coalition base for questioning.

And U.S. soldiers detained seven individuals and discovered two more weapons caches during a July 7 operation conducted near Baqubah. An Iraqi citizen led the soldiers to the illegal weapons. While searching two homes, the Americans confiscated 30 60 mm mortar rounds, an RPG launcher, a mortar tube, several machine guns and explosives.

The detainees were taken to a coalition installation for questioning.

Also, the 2nd Iraqi Army (Tiger) Brigade successfully disabled an unexploded 1,000-pound bomb found on the ninth floor of a Turkish restaurant in the Rusafa district of east Baghdad July 6.

Iraqi Army and U.S. 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, ordnance disposal teams on the scene decided to neutralize the bomb, which had been dropped in 2003 as part of the initial attack to liberate Baghdad.

As EOD teams disarmed the bomb, Iraqi soldiers secured the area and kept civilians away.

"The 2nd IAB planned, coordinated and executed the mission," said Col. Joseph DiSalvo, commander of coalition Forces in Rusafa. "This is a testament to their professionalism and high degree of readiness."

Iraqi Army Brig. Gen. Jawad Romee Aldine, the 2nd IAB commander, said he was proud of his soldiers' performance.

"We are becoming more and more capable every day," the Iraqi general said, noting his staff did a "great job of planning the mission to defuse the bomb."

The Tiger Brigade previously had its headquarters at Baghdad International Airport. Later this summer, the Iraqi unit will assume responsibility for security operations in portions of Rusafa. "We are dedicated to defeating the insurgents and securing Rusafa," Jawad said.

The Iraqi brigade was formed six months ago and boasts "many good soldiers," noted Command Sgt. Maj. Namair Mohammed Azzawi, the unit's senior noncommissioned officer. "The Tiger Brigade is now ready for anything," he said.

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

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