American Forces Press Service
May 12, 2007 – Five U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq today and three others are currently missing following an attack near Mahmudiyah, a senior U.S. military officer reported.
"This morning at 4:44 a.m. in Iraq, a coalition force team of eight soldiers (seven Americans and an Iraqi Army interpreter), were attacked 12 miles west of Mahmudiyah," Army Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman, said in a written statement. "As a result of this attack, five soldiers were killed in action and three are currently missing." A nearby coalition unit heard explosions during the attack and unsuccessfully attempted to establish communications.
Coalition forces arrived within an hour, secured the site, and immediately initiated a search, Caldwell said. The general said coalition forces are currently using every means at their disposal to find the missing soldiers, and will continue these efforts until all are accounted for. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those killed in this attack and for the missing soldiers and their loved ones back home," Caldwell said. The names of the soldiers are being withheld pending final identification and notification of next of kin.
The specifics are as follows:
-- Coalition forces heard an explosion at 4:44 a.m. this morning about 12 miles west of Mahmudiyah;
-- After an unmanned aerial vehicle observed two burning vehicles, a quick reaction force was dispatched, arriving on scene at 5:40 a.m.;
-- The quick reaction force reported finding five members of the team killed in action and three others whose duty status and whereabouts are unknown;
-- Helicopter, unmanned aerial vehicle, and fixed wing assets are being used to search in the vicinity;
-- Checkpoints have been established throughout the area in a concerted effort to focus the search and prevent potential movement of missing soldiers out of the area;
-- Coalition forces have engaged with local leaders to enlist their support in providing any information they can, and these engagements continue.
(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)