YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A 2nd Brigade Combat Team soldier was killed Oct. 29 in Iraq when a car bomb exploded near his military vehicle, the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday.

Sgt. Maurice Keith Fortune, 25, was killed in Ramadi, according to a Department of Defense statement. Military officials don’t confirm casualties’ names until next of kin have been notified.

Fortune was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, which deployed to Iraq from Camp Hovey, South Korea, in August. He’s at least the 16th casualty from the 2nd Brigade since the deployment began; the Pentagon lists 14 of those deaths as combat-related. No information was available from Fortune’s hometown, listed by the Pentagon as Forestville, Md. Just one day before his death, small-arms fire killed another 2-17 Field Artillery soldier in Ramadi.

Before leaving South Korea, three battalion companies were trained to rotate as infantrymen, force protection soldiers and in their traditional field artillery role.

The 2nd Brigade operates in Al Anbar province, stretching from Baghdad’s western edge to Syria’s border. It houses Ramadi and Fallujah, two hotbeds of the insurgency that has roiled Iraq for more than a year.

U.S. officials have said they are preparing a major assault on Fallujah to try to restore control of the city before Iraq’s January elections. Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, who must approve any new assault, said this week he was tiring of negotiations with insurgents in the cities.

News agencies in Iraq reported heavy fighting in the streets of Ramadi on Tuesday, with U.S. forces battling insurgents at several locations. The U.S. military also launched a series or airstrikes against targets in Fallujah.

U.S. military commanders have said insurgents regularly travel between Fallujah and Ramadi, coordinating attacks and moving supplies used in improvised explosive devices.

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