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Five Marines Killed in Steel Curtain Firefight

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2005 – Five Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), were killed today during a firefight while conducting Operation Steel Curtain in New Ubaydi, Iraq, military officials reported.

Sixteen enemy fighters were confirmed killed in the engagement, officials said.

Officials also announced that a Task Force Baghdad soldier died today of wounds suffered in a Nov. 15 roadside bomb attack northwest of Baghdad.

The servicemembers' are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In other news from Iraq, Iraqi soldiers from the Desert Protectors -- Iraqi scouts recruited from the al Qaim region -- positively identified and detained an al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist today at a New Ubaydi hospital. The terrorist was trying to evade identification by wearing women's clothing, officials said. In addition, Ubaydi residents staying at a nearby displacement camp worked with Iraqi soldiers to help identify 21 suspected terrorists hiding among the civilians in the camp.

Even as Steel Curtain goes on, Iraqi soldiers and Marines with Regimental Combat Team 2 have established the Husaybah Civil-Military Operations Center, where meetings have begun between Iraqi and coalition forces and local and regional leaders to coordinate the rebuilding of the city and the reconstitution of the city council.

The CMOC also will serve as the primary meeting place for city leaders who are seeking assistance with regard to basic necessities such as food, water, electricity, phone services, waste management and security, officials said.

"The CMOC in Husaybah is a tangible sign of the committed presence of the Iraqi military and U.S. forces," said Lt. Col. Todd Ryder, operations officer, 6th Civil Affairs Group. "It also establishes a location for local government officials to meet with military and national government officials to plan and chart a path for the city's economic and political rejuvenation."

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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