Five U.S. soldiers killed, three missing in Iraq

The U.S. military said that five of its soldiers were killed and three others went missing after an attack on their patrol in south of Baghdad on predawn Saturday.

The incident took place at 4:44 a.m. (0044 GMT) when insurgents attacked a patrol of seven U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter in an area 20 km west of Mahmoudiyah town, said a statement, from Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq.

The attack resulted in the killing of five soldiers and three more went missing, Caldwell said without saying whether the deaths were all U.S. soldiers or whether the Iraqi interpreter was among those killed.

U.S. forces arrived to the scene within an hour and set up checkpoints throughout the area, said the statement, adding a search campaign with using of drone planes and jets were ongoing in the area.

Earlier, the pan-Arab satellite channel al-Jazeera said that three U.S. soldiers went missing near the restive city of Fallujah.

Mahmoudiyah, some 30 km south of Baghdad, is a stronghold for Sunni insurgents and is part of an area code-named "Triangle of Death" because of the frequent insurgent attacks.

Some 3,390 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the U.S. -led invasion broke out in 2003, according to media count based on Pentagon figures.

Source: Xinhua

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