They belonged to the Regimental Combat Team 8 of the 2nd Marine Division. Another marine of the 2nd Division died in the same day, but near Ramadi, following a rocket-attack, taking the death toll of US soldiers dead in Iraq to 2,121.
According to 2nd Marine Division spokesman Lt. Barry Edwards, Regimental Combat Team 8 is part of the II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The unit has been among the hardest hit in the war. In the nearly three years since the war began, 147 Marines from II MEF have died in combat.
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
Many Iraqi guerrilla attacks against coalition targets have taken the form of attacks on convoys and patrols using improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.
They are made from former Iraqi military equipment and/or home-made materials, then concealed or camouflaged along main roads and detonated when a convoy or patrol passes.
The method of detonation has varied as the U.S. has adapted to insurgent tactics; originally using simple wires, U.S. forces later became skilled as observing such devices and cell-phone signals and garage-door openers were used. These signals were eventually encrypted to avoid jamming by conteroffensive devices and, more recently, infrared lasers have been used. IEDs are often hidden behind roadside rails, on telephone poles, buried in the ground or in piles of garbage, disguised as rocks or bricks, and even placed inside dead animals. This has emerged as the most lethal and favored method the insurgents have developed to attack coalition forces, and the number of these attacks have steadily increased.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch warned that that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaida's leader in Iraq, will boost its attacks ahead of the Dec 15 parliamentary elections.
Iraqi Interior Minister Bayn Jabr has banned all non-Iraqi Arabs from entering the country until further notice, in order to help limit as much as possible the insurgents' efforts to disrupt elections held on December 15.
The U.S. military said the number of car bombings detonated remotely declined to 68 in November from 130 in February. However, suicide attacks have not consistently decreased over the past year. After more than 70 such attacks in May, the number fell in August by nearly half and then climbed to over 50 two months later.
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