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Four Soldiers Killed in Samarra

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2005 – Four Task Force Liberty soldiers were killed about 11:15 a.m. today by an improvised explosive device in Samarra, one of the four Islamic holy cities in Iraq, which is located about 75 miles north of Baghdad, according to military officials in Tikrit.

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

In other news, Task Force Baghdad officials have updated casualty figures from car bomb attacks carried out in central Baghdad Aug. 17.

A total of 28 Iraqi civilians and four Iraqi police were killed and 68 civilians were wounded in the terrorist attacks, said Army Col. Joseph DiSalvo, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

The first part of the attack involved a car bomb, which detonated in a main bus terminal in downtown Baghdad at 7:50 a.m. Ten minutes later, as Iraqi police arrived at the scene, a second car bomb went off outside the terminal, a main transit station for Iraqis heading north and south.

Casualties from both attacks were taken to al-Kindi hospital, where, at 8:45 a.m., a third car bomb was detonated.

The incidents remain under investigation.

In other Baghdad area action, combined Iraqi army and Task Force Baghdad operations netted 25 terror suspects during a series of combat missions in the capital on Aug. 17, military officials reported.

Just before 2 a.m., coalition forces detained a suspect after curfew in the Thawra district in northeast Baghdad. He was carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and wearing an ammunition vest. When the joint patrol searched the suspect's house, they found a second AK-47, a pistol, one new passport and one blank passport. The suspect was taken into custody for questioning.

The largest operation of the day was conducted at 1 p.m. by Iraqi and U.S. soldiers in southwest Baghdad.

In just over three hours, the combined patrol, acting on a tip from an Iraqi citizen, searched 10 anti-Iraqi force safe houses and detained 17 suspected terrorists. The patrol also seized four AK-47s and one machine gun.

At about the same time, another Task Force Baghdad unit conducted a precision operation resulting in the capture of two targeted terror suspects. The suspects are thought to be involved in planning and carrying out terrorist attacks in the Baghdad's Al Rasheed district.

Later, just before 8 p.m., Task Force Baghdad soldiers acting on a tip from an Iraqi citizen found one rocket-propelled grenade round, small-arms ammunition and bomb-making materials at a house in east Baghdad.

The patrol also captured five terror suspects and seized wires, batteries, switches, 40 cell phones and bomb detonators. Multinational forces officials reported that Iraqi army soldiers continue to find and secure improvised explosive devices placed by anti-Iraq forces throughout the country. During a search operation in Suwayrah on Aug. 17, soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, found an IED consisting of three 152 mm artillery shells connected by wires and ready to use. An explosive ordnance disposal team defused the device.

In Fallujah, soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Intervention Force, discovered a roadside bomb in a median strip while on a dismounted patrol Aug. 17. The IED, concealed in a water jug, consisted of two 120 mm mortar rounds connected to a Motorola phone base. Explosive ordnance experts destroyed the device in place.

No injuries or damages were reported during the incidents. In the air over Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 48 close-air support and armed reconnaissance sorties Aug. 17 in support of coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities, Air Force officials reported.

Officials also said coalition aircraft supported Iraqi and coalition ground force operations to create a secure environment for ongoing Transitional National Assembly meetings.

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon and Navy F/A-18 Hornet carrierborne fighter and attack aircraft provided close-air support to coalition troops in the vicinities of Al Qaim, Fallujah, Mosul and Tikrit.

Eight Air Force and Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions. U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force fighter aircraft also performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

In the air war over Afghanistan, coalition aircraft flew 21 close-air support and armed reconnaissance sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. These missions included support to coalition and Afghan troops, the parliamentary and provincial election process, presence route patrol to include border security and reconstruction activities.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolts and a Predator airborne surveillance reconnaissance and target acquisition aircraft provided close air support to coalition troops in the vicinities of Asadabad, Chaghasaray and Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

Four Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force and French Air Force fighter aircraft also performed in a nontraditional ISR role.

Air Force C-17 Globemaster IIIs and C-130 Hercules aircraft provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. Nearly 160 airlift sorties were flown, moving nearly 2,670 passengers and more than 400 short tons of cargo. This included about 3,000 pounds of troop re-supply airdropped to coalition ground forces in eastern Afghanistan.

Coalition C-130 crews from the United Kingdom, Australia and the Republic of Korea flew in support of either Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

On Aug. 16, U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force, French Air Force and Singapore Air Force tankers flew 38 sorties and offloaded more than 2.2 million pounds of fuel.

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