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Three Soldiers Killed in Iraq; DoD Identifies Previous Casualties

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2006 – Three soldiers died yesterday in Iraq, military officials reported, and the Defense Department released the identity of five servicemembers killed recently supporting the war on terror.

The soldiers, assigned to Multinational Division Baghdad, died when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle north of Baghdad. The soldiers’ identities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In other news, the Defense Department has released the identities of five soldiers killed earlier in Iraq.

-- Army Pfc. Paul Balint Jr., 22, of Willow Park, Texas, died Dec. 15 in Ramadi of injuries suffered when his unit came in contact with the enemy using small-arms fire during combat operations. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Friedberg, Germany.

-- Army Staff Sgt. Theodore A. Spatol, 59, of Thermopolis, Wyo., died of a non-combat-related illness in Thermopolis on Dec. 14. He had been medically evacuated from Iraq. Spatol was assigned to the 1041st Engineer Company, Rock Springs, Wyo.

-- Army Spc. Nicholas P. Steinbacher, 22, of La Crescenta, Calif., died of injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee in Baghdad on Dec. 10. Steinbacher was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

-- Army Pfc. Albert M. Nelson, 31, of Philadelphia, and Pfc. Roger A. Suarez-Gonzalez, 21 of Miami died Dec. 4 in Ramadi of injuries suffered from small-arms fire while conducting security and observation operations. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Defense Department news releases.)

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