Announcement on Deaths of Soldiers
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2003 - Nine U.S. service members have died since Oct. 9 in seven separate incidents in Iraq, U.S. Central Command officials said.

The incidents are unrelated, and three of the deaths were not combat-related. "It highlights the fact that Iraq remains a dangerous place to work and operate in," said Marine Maj. Pete Mitchell, a U.S. Central Command spokesman. "The significant progress that is being made each day does not come without sacrifice."

In the most serious incident, two 1st Armored Division soldiers were killed and four others were wounded in an ambush in the Sadr City district of Baghdad Oct. 9.

The area is a poor Shiia section of the city. Under the former regime, it was named Saddam City, but it is not a Baathist stronghold. The soldiers were on a routine patrol when unknown assailants attacked with small-arms fire at approximately 8 p.m. News reports indicate the assailants may have been rival Shiia militias.

Near Tikrit, four 4th Infantry Division soldiers were killed and two others were wounded in separate incidents. A soldier was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck a Bradley fighting vehicle in Tikrit at about 1:15 p.m. Oct. 13.

Another Iron Horse soldier died and another was wounded when their Bradley vehicle struck a mine northwest of Bayji at about 7:45 p.m. Oct. 12.

Another 4th Infantry Division soldier died from wounds received during a rocket-propelled grenade attack at about 2 a.m. Oct 9. The soldier was traveling in a convoy near Baqubah, north of Baghdad.

Finally, a 4th Infantry Division soldier was killed and two others were wounded in an attack at about 11:15 a.m. Oct. 13, when their convoy was ambushed southeast of Jalyula.

Mitchell said coalition forces continue to deal with a small element of Iraqi society that still subscribes to Baathist hopes.

"The overwhelming majority of Iraqi people welcome us there," he said. A recent poll in Baghdad shows that seven out of 10 Iraqis want the United States to remain until the threat to the society is removed, he said.

A 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment soldier was found dead in the Euphrates River near the Mudaysis Dam in Hadithah at about 9 p.m. Oct. 13,about 20 minutes after being reported missing. Medical personnel tried to revive the soldier at the scene, but he was pronounced dead at 9:45 p.m.

Two 1st Armored Division soldiers were killed and one was injured in a traffic accident in Baghdad at about 2:30 p.m. Oct. 13.

In all cases, the soldiers' names are being withheld pending next-of-kin notification.

In the North, soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division killed an enemy attacker Oct. 13 when their convoy came under attack in eastern Mosul.

Enemy guerillas fired two rocket-propelled grenades and small arms on the convoy. Soldiers returned fire, killing an individual as he prepared to fire a rocket-propelled grenade. The unit established two traffic control points and confiscated one rocket-propelled grenade, one RPK assault rifle and four hand grenades. There were no U.S. casualties.

Other 101st soldiers uncovered five separate ammunition caches. The first cache was found southeast of Al Hadr. It consisted of about 100 rocket-propelled grenades, neatly stacked and concealed by straw in a gulley.

Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team discovered two caches northwest of Q-West. The first cache consisted of 23 60 mm mortar rounds, and the second contained 12 82 mm mortar rounds and a rocket-propelled grenade.

An Iraqi informant pointed out another arms cache, and soldiers found five rocket-propelled grenades and seven 152 mm rounds in a bombed-out bunker southeast of Qyarrah.

Aviators from the 2nd Battalion, 17th Cavalry spotted the final cache between Bartellah and Kalah. The cache contained 40 57 mm anti-aircraft rounds.