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Army Recovers Rifles of Pair Killed in Iraq

September 30, 2003|From Associated Press

BAGHDAD — U.S. forces searching a car after a shootout near a checkpoint recovered two M-16 rifles belonging to American soldiers abducted and killed north of Baghdad in June, the U.S. military said Monday.

Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division found the rifles in the trunk of a car stopped after a firefight late Sunday, said U.S. Army Lt. Col. George Krivo, coalition military spokesman. Shots were exchanged when the red sedan tried to run a checkpoint about 45 miles north of Baghdad, near the town of Balad, he said. One Iraqi in the car was killed, and three others were captured.

The vehicle is believed to be the same red sedan that fled the scene of a roadside bomb that had detonated two hours earlier and targeted coalition forces, a statement from U.S. Central Command said.

The guns belonged to two soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery Regiment, who were deployed to Baghdad from Ft. Sill, Okla., the military official said. Troops also found an AK-47, an Iraqi military uniform and other equipment in the car, he said.

Sgt. 1st Class Gladimir Philippe, 37, from Linden, N.J., and Pfc. Kevin C. Ott, 27, from Columbus, Ohio, were reported missing June 25. Their bodies were found west of the town of Taji on June 28, the Central Command said.

The M-16s were identified by their serial numbers, Krivo said.

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