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Separate Attacks Kill Two Soldiers, Wound Three Others

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2004 – Two U.S. soldiers were killed and three others were wounded Aug. 23 in two separate attacks in Iraq.

A Task Force Olympia soldier was killed and another was wounded when their convoy hit a roadside bomb in west Mosul, according to a Multinational Force Iraq news release. The wounded soldier was taken to the U.S. Army combat support hospital in Mosul, and was reported to be in stable condition.

Three Task Force Baghdad soldiers were wounded when a rocket-propelled grenade hit their patrol, another Multinational Force Iraq news release said. All three were taken to a military hospital, where one soldier died of his wounds.

Multinational forces conducted limited objective attacks against anti-Iraqi forces the night of Aug. 23 to disrupt, delay and destroy their ability to attack Iraqi and Multinational forces, another news release reported today.

The attacks began late at night and continued into today's early morning hours, the release said. Artillery, close air support, air interdiction and airborne surveillance supported the attacks.

During these operations, a Multinational Force Iraq AC-130 aircrew saw militiamen loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr fire a rocket from the northeast corner of the Imam Ali Shrine, according to the release. The rocket clipped the wall of the shrine and landed about 10 meters north of the wall. The militia rocket may have damaged the shrine, the news release reported, emphasizing that Multinational Force Iraq operations "have not, and will not, direct fire at the Imam Ali Shrine."

Sadr's militia continue to use these holy sites in Najaf as bases for their operations and are not taking the same care as the multinational force in regard to the sanctity of these sites, the release said.

Another news release reported that Task Force Danger soldiers detained 10 people and confiscated several weapons after a combat patrol was attacked with small-arms fire from a passing vehicle Aug. 22 near Balad.

An OH-58D Kiowa armed scout helicopter followed the vehicle as it stopped at several houses after the shooting. Three houses and the vehicle were searched, and 10 suspects were detained. The soldiers also confiscated four AK-47 assault rifles and one G3 rifle after their search. The suspects were taken to a military detention facility for questioning.

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