5 G.I.s Die In Iraq, 3 In Afghanistan

November 7th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: 5 G.I.s Die In Iraq, 3 In Afghanistan

New York Daily News
November 7, 2006
By Richard Sisk, Daily News Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - On the eve of elections framed by two wars, five more U.S. troops were killed in Iraq yesterday and the names of three others killed in Afghanistan were released.
The deaths included two Army lieutenant colonels killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb, and a major from New York's 10th Mountain Division who died in Afghanistan in a similar attack.
Despite 18 Americans killed already this month in Iraq, following 105 in October, Army Gen. George Casey, the coalition forces commander, said "every day sees more progress in this transition process" to put Iraqis in charge.
In his weekly message to the troops, Casey noted that President Bush and Iraqi officials recently "agreed to form a joint working group to explore additional ways to accelerate the transfer of security responsibility."
"The situation in Iraq remains complex," Casey said, but "it is clear that Iraq is well on its way to completing key transitions."
In an effort to limit sectarian violence, Iraq's Shiite-dominated government reached out to estranged Sunnis a day after former Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein was sentenced to be hanged.
The government said that former members of Saddam's purged Baath Party would be considered for jobs in the new administration.
But in another sign of recent strains between the U.S. and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, The Associated Press reported that U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, a Sunni of Afghan descent, could be leaving his Baghdad post as early as the end of the year.
The Pentagon said that Maj. Douglas Sloan, 40, of Evans Mills, N.Y.; Sgt. Charles McClain, 26, of Fort Riley, Kan., and Pfc. Alex Oceguera, 19, of San Bernardino, Calif., were killed by an improvised explosive device, or IED, in Afghanistan on Oct. 31. The three were from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, N.Y.
The Army also said that Lt. Col. Paul Finken, 40, of Mason City, Iowa; Lt. Col. Eric Kruger, 40, of Garland, Tex., and Staff Sgt. Joseph Gage, 28, of Modesto, Calif., were killed in Iraq by an IED on Nov. 2.
In a statement released by his family, Finken, a 1989 West Point graduate, was described as a leader "who would never ask his soldiers to do anything he wouldn't do himself."

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