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Second Soldier Killed in New Offensive Operation in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2005 – A second Task Force Liberty soldier has died from hostile action in Samarra, Iraq, on May 8, military officials in Baghdad reported today.

The soldier was killed during a small-arms fire attack near the city at about 2:30 p.m. local time.

Earlier that day, military officials reported that another soldier from the New York-based task force was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated next a combat patrol in the city.

The names of both soldiers are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

An offensive operation began today in northwestern Anbar province to eliminate insurgents and foreign fighters from the area.

Marines, sailors and soldiers from Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, are taking part in the operation, along with coalition and Marine Corps aircraft. The operation is centered on the area north of the Euphrates River, in the Al Jazirah Desert, which military officials say is a known smuggling route and sanctuary for foreign fighters.

Initial reports, according to the military, indicate a significant number of insurgents, some believed to be foreign fighters, have been killed in the first 24 hours of the operation.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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