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IED Kills Task Force Liberty Soldier in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2005 – A Task Force Liberty soldier was killed by an improvised explosive device near Tuz, Iraq, today, Multinational Force Iraq officials announced.

No other injuries were reported from the incident, and officials provided no further details.

A Marine assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force was killed Feb. 22 in what officials described as "a non-hostile motor vehicle accident" while conducting security and stability operations in Iraq's Anbar province.

In other news, three Iraqi men were detained Feb. 21 during a raid on homes of suspected IED makers in Sabiyah. Soldiers from the 278th Regimental Combat Team led the way by coordinating a night mission involving Iraqi armed forces, U.S. ground troops, helicopters and M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, officials reported.

"We entered the homes and grabbed the subjects right off the bat," said platoon leader 1st Lt. Gregory W. Smith. "After detaining the individuals, we began questioning them and conducted simultaneous searches of their homes."

Detainees where questioned for intelligence pertaining to the network of anti- coalition resistance in Sabiyah. Homes were also searched for IED-building material and any documentation that could lead to other members of the IED network. "Mainly, we just got a few more IED makers off the streets," Smith said. He credited both U.S. and Iraqi soldiers with doing "a wonderful job" in the raid.

A lot of the reason for the success goes all the way back to the United States, long before the mission briefing and rehearsals, said Sgt. Leo Shinkle, a unit gunner.

"After a six month train-up at Camp Shelby, Miss., I think we came to Iraq ready to go," he said, adding that these kinds of missions send a clear message to terrorists in the area. "If they come out and start setting up IEDs, we'll come after them, even if it means going to their homes to get them," Shinkle said.

A group of Huriyah citizens captured four people they said were responsible for ambushes against Iraqi and coalition forces along Iraq's Highway 6, then held them until Iraqi special police commandos could pick them up, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq officials reported today.

A team of commandos traveled to Huriyah Feb. 22 to take the suspects into custody. Two Apache helicopters from the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division provided the commandos protection from the air as they made their way into the city.

Residents gathered outside to greet the commandos with applause, and an announcement from the mosque loudspeakers welcomed their arrival, according to multinational and Iraqi reports.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq news releases.)

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Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq

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