5 US Soldiers Killed… 3 Missing in Mahmoudiya
A US patrol came under attack today in the area near Mahmoudiya. 5 soldiers were killed and 3 more are missing.
Seven U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi army interpreter came under attack Saturday morning during a patrol in a Sunni insurgent stronghold south of Baghdad, leaving five dead and three missing, the military said.
Troops were searching for the three missing, using drone planes, jets and checkpoints throughout the area, according to the statement. Soldiers were also asking local leaders for information.
After the pre-dawn attack near Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad in a Sunni insurgent stronghold dubbed the Triangle of Death, nearby units heard explosions and a drone plane later observed two burning vehicles, the statement said.
Troops who arrived later found five of the soldiers dead. The other three members of the patrol were gone, according to the statement, from Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq.
The military refused to specify whether the Iraqi interpreter was among those killed or among the missing, citing security.
Two US soldiers, Pfc. Kristian Menchaca (Left) and Pfc. Thomas Lowell Tucker, were killed in the area last year and their bodies mutilated by Al Qaeda.
On June 16, 2006, two American soldiers who went missing in the same area were later found dead, tied together with a bomb between one victim’s legs.
Blindfolded suspected insurgents are escorted inside an Iraqi military camp in Mahmoudiya, 30km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, April 22, 2007. About 33 suspected insurgents were arrested and a weapons cache confiscated from them during a raid in Latifiya on Saturday, according to the military. (REUTERS/Ibrahim Sultan)
Jules Crittenden has developments from the region.