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U.S.: Powerful bomb kills 5 in Iraq

From Alphonso Van Marsh
CNN Correspondent

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Three U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi civil defense force members were killed Saturday morning when a powerful roadside bomb detonated north of Baghdad, splitting open the gun turret of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle they were traveling in, according to the 4th Infantry Division.

The blast happened at 7:45 a.m (11:45 p.m. Friday ET) as the patrol was searching the area for improvised explosive devices, a 4th ID statement said.

The vehicle flipped over and caught fire after the blast, and the gunner and commander escaped with injuries, 4th ID sources told CNN. Four people in the back and the driver were killed.

With the latest attack, 500 U.S. troops have been killed in the Iraq war, 346 of them in hostile situations. Since President Bush declared the end of major combat operations on May 1, 361 U.S. troops have been killed, 231 in hostile actions.

The roadside blast happened west of Taji, which is about 19 miles (30 km) north of Baghdad, according to the sources.

A quick reaction force immediately secured the area and detained three Iraqis fleeing in a white truck carrying bomb-making materials, the 4th ID said.

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