Friday, June 17, 2005

VIOLENCE IN IRAQ: Marines, sailor killed by bomb and gunfire

VIOLENCE IN IRAQ: Marines, sailor killed by bomb and gunfire: "The deaths brought to 42 the number of fatalities U.S. troops have suffered from hostile fire in the first half of the month, a figure that is already higher than that for all of June 2004, according to Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, a Web site that uses official casualty reports to organize deaths by various criteria.

The Marines died in a roadside bomb explosion Wednesday; the sailor attached to the Marines' unit, the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, was killed by small-arms fire the same day.

U.S. officials also announced Thursday that they've captured a man they believe is a top lieutenant of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

If true, the detention of Mohammed Khalaf -- also known as Abu Talha -- could be a significant dent in the al-Zarqawi organization, believed to be behind many of the suicide bombings that have killed thousands of Iraqis."

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