Five Servicemembers Killed in Iraq Blasts
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 4, 2005 Insurgents using improvised explosive devices killed five U.S. servicemembers in three separate attacks in Iraq today, military officials in Baghdad reported.
Three Task Force Baghdad soldiers were killed when a bomb went off at about 11 a.m. north of Baghdad. At about 11:30 a.m., a 1st Infantry Division soldier was killed when insurgents detonated an explosive device near Balad.
Three other soldiers were wounded in those attacks and were taken to military hospitals. No report was available on their condition.
In Fallujah, a U.S. Marine with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force was killed while conducting security operations in Anbar province.
Today's violence against U.S. servicemembers comes as Iraqi and U.S. forces have stepped up security measures in preparation for elections later this month.
In Mosul, where much of the violence has taken place, elements of the 82nd Airborne Division and the 25th Infantry Division, along with the 6th Brigade of Iraqi Commandos, have arrived to begin joint operations with Iraqi security forces there to ensure security for the Jan. 30 elections. Twelve combat battalions of both Iraqi security forces and multinational forces are operating in Multinational Brigade Northwest.
Military officials said the increase in multinational and Iraqi security forces will ensure security and stability as Iraqis participate in their first democratic election.
In other news from Iraq, military officials said an Iraqi police station in southeast Mosul came under attack by small-=arms fire during a coordinated effort by insurgent fighters to overrun the station. Iraqi police successfully repelled the attack, forcing the insurgents to flee.
Military officials said the attack was the sixth this week, and the 13th since Nov. 10, in which insurgents tried but failed to overrun police stations in Mosul.
Also in Mosul, an Iraqi child provided information that led a U.S. patrol to a large weapons cache stored in an abandoned building.
Inside the building, multinational forces from 1st Brigade (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), 25th Infantry Division (Light), discovered 30 60 mm mortars, 21 rocket-propelled-grenade rounds, dynamite, roadside bombs, five RPG launchers, more than 100 mortar fuses, grenades, ammunition and intelligence documents.
Soldiers also discovered a stolen fuel truck in the configuration stages of a truck bomb. An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the truck and munitions.
U.S. military officials also reported that two insurgents believed to be in the act of trying to commit a terrorist act were killed in Baghdad today when their vehicle exploded.
During a routine patrol, multinational forces observed a vehicle broken down and on fire on a city street. As the patrol attempted to investigate the fire, the vehicle erupted in a violent explosion, killing two occupants in the vehicle.
A third occupant standing away from the vehicle was wounded by the blast. No one else was hurt.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)