Five U.S. Soldiers Killed, 11 Wounded in Iraq

By Bill Brubaker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 4, 2007; 7:34 PM

Five American soldiers were killed and 11 others were wounded in four separate attacks in Iraq, the Defense Department announced today, as a top U.S. military official predicted more service members will die in the coming weeks.

Four of the deaths were caused by improvised explosive devices that detonated in three areas of Baghdad, continuing a deadly trend that has caused about 70 percent of all casualties suffered by U.S. troops.

"That's still the primary threat to our soldiers: IEDs," Maj. General Rick Lynch, a top U.S. commander, told Pentagon reporters in a teleconference from Iraq after the first death was announced. "And we have an aggressive campaign to counter those IEDs. But they still are taking a toll on our soldiers."

Lynch said although he sees "glimmers of hope" in the 50-month-old war "unfortunately, we expect the enemy will break many more hearts in the coming days and weeks."

Separately, the U.S. military said today that the American-led coalition killed three terrorists and detained six suspected terrorists in raids yesterday and today in central Iraq.

Sixteen others were detained in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood for alleged involvement in transporting weapons and explosively formed projectiles--a type of roadside bomb--from Iran to Iraq, another statement said. The 16 were part of a "secret cell" that also has ties to a kidnapping network that "interacts with rogue elements throughout Iraq and into Iran," the statement said.

The U.S. military is in the final stages of a "surge," sending thousands of additional troops to Baghdad and western Anbar province.

"As we have surged, we find the enemy surging as well," Lynch said. "We're taking the fight to the enemy to counter his capabilities, but over time, especially as we continue to put our forces in areas in which they have never operated, we can expect continued casualties."

In the first of the four attacks on U.S. service members, one Task Force Marne soldier was killed and two others were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded while they were on patrol south of Baghdad early today.

No other details were given about the incident, which came a day after another American commander said the number of attacks against U.S. forces using explosively formed projectiles, an armor-piercing weapon, hit a record high 65 in April.

"Is the enemy going to be able to do acts of violence, horrific acts of violence? Sure, he is," Lynch told reporters today. "But we'll continue to take the fight to them."

In another incident, one Multi-National Division Baghdad soldier was killed and six others were wounded yesterday by an IED attack in eastern Baghdad.

Also yesterday, a roadside bomb killed one Multi-National Division Baghdad soldier and wounded three others in western Baghdad.

In Anbar province, two Multi National Force-West soldiers were killed yesterday while conducting combat operations. The U.S. military did not offer any details about this attack.

The names of the five deceased soldiers will be released after their relatives are notified, the military statements said.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis and more than 3,350 U.S. service members have died since the start of the war in March 2003.

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