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Military deaths in Iraq exceed 9/11 toll

LARRY McSHANE, Associated Press Writer

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December 26, 2006

NEW YORK - Nearly four years after the war in Iraq began, the number of Americans troops killed there now exceeds the grim toll of victims from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The U.S. military death toll in Iraq has reached 2,974, one more than the number of deaths in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, according to an Associated Press count on Tuesday.

The U.S. military announced the deaths of two soldiers in a bomb explosion southwest of Baghdad on Monday. The military was withholding the soldiers' names until relatives could be notified.

The 9/11 death toll includes the 2,749 killed at the World Trade Center, 184 at the
Pentagon and 40 passengers aboard United Flight 93. While all were killed within a few hours that morning, the deaths in Iraq have stretched across 45 months Ś with no end yet in sight.

The victims came from across the United States. More than 50 residents of Alabama have died in the conflict. More than 30 of the dead lived in Nebraska. More than 40 went to Iraq from Kentucky.

A number of them enlisted in response to the 9/11 attacks.

Jonathan Lootens, from upstate New York, joined the Army. "This is something I have to do," he told family members. The 25-year-old sergeant was killed during his second tour of duty when a roadside bomb went off near his vehicle in the city of Kirkuk.

Marine Lance Cpl. John Edward Hale was only 15 and living in Louisiana when the planes hit the World Trade Center, but he never forgot what happened. He joined the Marines after graduating high school last year, and was only in Iraq for three months when he was killed by a roadside bomb.

Michael Glover joined the Marines after his boyhood neighborhood Ś the Belle Harbor section of Queens Ś lost several residents in the Sept. 11 attacks.

One of his best friends, an equities trainer at Cantor Fitzgerald LP, was among those killed at the trade center. And Belle Harbor, an enclave of police, firefighters and government workers, lost a large number of residents.

Glover was killed by a sniper while on patrol in Fallujah.


:: Article nr. 29308 sent on 26-dec-2006 08:17 ECT

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Link: news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061226/ap_on_re_us/attacks_military_deaths_1



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