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North Dakota guardsman killed by bomb in Iraq


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North Dakota guardsman killed by bomb in Iraq

Associated Press

Published Wednesday, September 22, 2004

BISMARCK, N.D. - A North Dakota National Guard soldier died in Iraq after he was hit by a bomb, the military said Wednesday.

The guardsman died shortly after midnight while on patrol near the Iraqi city of Tikrit, Guard spokesman Rob Keller said.

"The soldier is confirmed as having been killed during this attack. No other soldiers received serious injuries that we are aware of," Keller said.

The man was not identified, and no age or hometown was given. He was assigned to the Guard's 141st Engineer Combat Battalion's Company B, based in Jamestown.

Military officials in Iraq said Wednesday that a soldier killed by a bomb near Tikrit was in a vehicle when he spotted a suspicious object at the side of the road.

It turned out to be a bomb, which detonated and killed the soldier, said Maj. Neal O'Brien, spokesman for the Army's 1st Infantry Division. O'Brien did not identify the soldier.

The North Dakota victim's family has been notified and the state Guard's family support group is using a "phone tree" to spread the word to other soldiers' families, Keller said.

"That's our extended family and we want them to hear that it's not their soldier," he said.

About 475 members of the 141st are stationed in Iraq. They arrived in Kuwait on Feb. 15 and were expected to serve about a year.

The soldiers are in three primary locations _ near Balad and Baqubah, which are just north of Baghdad, and near Tikrit, the home town of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Tikrit is about 100 miles northwest of Baghdad.

Two other members of the unit were killed in May. They were Spc. Philip Brown, 21, of Jamestown, and Spc. James Holmes, 28, of East Grand Forks, Minn. About 19 have been wounded.

Wednesday's death brings to six the number of North Dakota National Guardsmen killed in Iraq.

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