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Captured Contractor Escapes, Found by U.S. Troops

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2004 – An American truck driver in Iraq seized by insurgents April 9 apparently escaped his captors and was picked up today by U.S. forces, a senior U.S. official said.

Thomas Hamill, 43, was found by an American patrol south of Tikrit, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy operations director for Combined Joint Task Force 7, reported today during a Baghdad press conference.

Kimmitt said Hamill is in good health. The Macon, Miss., native, the general said, "apparently escaped from a building, came over to the American soldiers" and identified himself.

Hamill is an employee of Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp. He has spoken to his family "and is ready to get back to work," Kimmitt noted.

The contractor was seized April 9 during an insurgent attack on a supply convoy west of Baghdad. Several other contractors and an American soldier were also captured during the incident.

In other news, reports say four American soldiers were killed during weekend action in Iraq.

CJTF 7 also reports that Task Force Olympia contractor security forces operating near Mosul on May 1 found a group of explosives.

A CJTF release said the contractors found a "daisy chain" of munitions, to include more than 10 live mortar and artillery rounds. Numerous inert mortar and artillery shells were also found in the same area. The explosive ordnance detail called for the closure of Highway 1, a main route between Mosul and Baghdad, while the explosives were attended to.

Also, U.S. Marines are now delivering supplies to the 1st Battalion of the Fallujah Brigade, according to a CJTF 7 press release. The brigade is an Iraqi- manned military unit tasked to bring peace to Fallujah. Maj. Gen. Jassim Mohammed Saleh commands the Fallujah Brigade.

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Combined Joint Task Force 7


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