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Iraqi Regular Army Soldiers Graduate From Basic Training

American Forces Press Service

MOSUL, Iraq, Jan. 11, 2005 – Soldiers from the Iraqi regular army recently completed a rigorous basic training program and are being activated to counter anti-Iraqi insurgents operating in northern Iraq, U.S. officials here said.

The Iraqi soldiers and their instructors, which included members of the Iraqi security forces and Multinational Force Iraq, had a graduation ceremony at their training site in northern Iraq.

"The graduation is a right of passage and a point of immense pride for the defenders of the new Iraq. The dedication to duty and the willingness to stand up and defend their freedom that these soldiers show is amazing. I have tremendous respect for them," said a Multinational Force officer.

The training program included instruction and testing on marksmanship, weapons, leadership, tactics, first aid, relating to civilians, and professional ethics. The program is designed to create well-rounded professional soldiers ready to take positions in the Iraqi regular army, an official explained.

In other news from Iraq, Iraqi police and firefighters are attempting to extinguish a pipeline fire southwest of Riyadh. U.S. Task Force Danger soldiers reported the fire following an explosion earlier today.

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