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Roadside Bombs Claim Lives of Six Soldiers, Two Marines

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2005 – Four U.S. soldiers from Task Force Baghdad were killed today when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the Yusufiyah district, southwest of Baghdad, military officials reported today.

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This weapons cache was found in a house during a major operation conducted by U.S. soldiers from 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, and Iraqi security forces from the 4th Public Order Brigade in eastern the eastern part of Baghdad's Rasheed district Oct. 28. The cache was hidden in a crawlspace found underneath a bathtub. Army photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image)

Another roadside bomb killed two 29th Brigade Combat Team soldiers today while they were on a patrol north of Logistics Support Area Anaconda, officials said.

Elsewhere, a U.S. Marine died when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb near Amiriyah Oct. 30. The Marine was assigned to the 2nd Force Service Support Group (Forward), 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Another Marine died when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb near Nasser Wa Salaam Oct. 29. The Marine was assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

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

In other operations in Iraq, a Saudi-born al Qaeda operative who was involved in smuggling foreign fighters into Iraq was killed Oct. 29 as he attempted to flee coalition forces. Coalition forces killed Abu Saud and three other terrorists when they tried to escape in a vehicle. Officials said multiple intelligence sources and tips from concerned citizens led coalition forces to the terrorists' location near Ubaydi.

Intelligence sources believe Saud recently arrived from Saudi Arabia to shore up the leadership of terrorist cells whose previous leaders have been captured or killed in recent months, officials said.

Coalition forces were told a meeting was being arranged in the coming days in which Saud was to take control of facilitating foreign fighters in the Qaim and Husaybah regions. Officials also believed that Saud would take on a more active role in the planning and execution of operations against coalition forces, officials noted.

Elsewhere, Task Force Baghdad soldiers caught a terrorist Oct. 29 as he tried to plant a roadside bomb in an Abu Ghraib neighborhood about 20 miles west of Baghdad, officials said. The soldiers shot and killed the terrorist, who was suspected of placing and detonating roadside bombs against Iraqi army units in eastern Abu Ghraib, officials said.

Soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, saw the terrorist as he rode up on a bicycle and emplaced what looked like a bag with suspicious wires coming out of it. The soldiers determined that the suspicious bag was a bomb and shot and killed the terrorist. The bomb exploded moments after the terrorist was shot, but no damage or injuries were reported. Another bomb was found on the terrorist's bicycle and was later destroyed by ordnance disposal experts.

Task Force Baghdad soldiers and Iraqi security forces nabbed 49 terrorists and a large weapons cache during major combat assaults dubbed Operation Clean Sweep Oct. 28-29 south of Baghdad, officials said.

U.S. soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, teamed with Iraqi forces from the 4th Public Order Brigade and swept through the eastern part of the Rasheed district Oct. 29. The multi-pronged assault resulted in more than 350 target houses searched and the detention of 33 suspected terrorists. The troops also found bomb-making materials at several of the target houses.

In an earlier mission Oct. 28, 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry, soldiers detained 16 terror suspects and discovered a large weapons cache during a cordon-and-search operation, officials said. The cache was hidden in a second-story crawlspace underneath a bathtub and included 13 AK-47 assault rifles, three MPK machine guns, 20 AK-47 barrels, a pistol, U.S. currency and an ammunition stockpile.

Acting on information from a citizen in Tal Afar, Iraqi police uncovered the bodies of 14 people buried in a shallow grave just east of the city in western Ninewa province Oct. 28. Twelve of the corpses were bound and appear to have been shot in the head execution-style. Two others were decapitated, officials reported. Officials said the individuals appear to have been dead for one to three months.

In the past month, Iraqi and U.S. forces have uncovered other grisly evidence of how terrorists maintained a grip of fear over the population of Tal Afar, officials said.

Terrorists used the city to train mortar teams and then conducted attacks against innocent civilians. In the most recent attack, two girls, 9 and 11, were injured when two mortar rounds impacted in front of their house as they played outside. Iraqi forces provided first aid, and U.S. forces evacuated the 11-year-old to a Mosul hospital for treatment, officials noted.

Terrorists in Tal Afar are using boys and women to conduct attacks against security forces and the people of Tal Afar, officials said. Officials attribute this to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 3rd Iraqi Army Division's effective security operations.

Recently, a young boy with a learning disability was coerced into throwing hand grenades at local citizens and Iraqi security forces. U.S. soldiers captured the boy, who led them to the 60-year-old man who instigated the attack. The man was captured, and U.S. forces are working with Iraqi officials to find foster care for the boy.

In the past month, four other incidents of boys age 10 to 12 conducting attacks have occurred. Three involved hand grenades, and one killed an Iraqi civilian who had previously told the children to stop these attacks.

In a chilling confession, one boy, who Iraqi police captured during the heavy fighting in September, admitted to murdering people and even helping hold the feet of others while older terrorists beheaded them. The boy had been sodomized and brainwashed by the terrorists, officials said.

Despite the cultural and religious taboos, terrorists also continue using women to attack security forces.

In late September, a woman believed to be in her early 20s and also mentally impaired detonated an explosive belt, killing herself and seven other innocent Iraqis, including one child.

Other instances of women assisting terrorists either by force or willingly have been documented. Employing female searchers, Iraqi forces have found women hiding cell phones and weapons in their clothing

In the air war over Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 36 close-air-support and armed-reconnaissance sorties Oct. 30 in support of coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

U.S. Air Force all-weather F-15 Eagle tactical fighters performed air strikes against insurgent forces near Karabilah. The F-15s dropped a precision-guided bomb and destroyed enemy targets, officials noted.

Other Air Force F-15s and F-16 Fighting Falcons, a Predator and Royal Air Force G-7s provided close-air support to coalition troops near Balad, Basra, Salman Park and Tacit.

In addition, 10 Air Force and Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. British Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

(Compiled from Task Force Baghdad, Multinational Force Iraq, and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)

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Multinational Force Iraq
U.S. Central Command Air Forces

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