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SEOUL — Two 2nd Infantry Division soldiers were killed Wednesday in Iraq, according to the Defense Department.

Pfc. Louis E. Niedermeier, 20, of Largo, Fla., was killed in Ar Ramadi when his unit was conducting combat operations and he came under enemy small-arms fire; Spc. Phillip C. Edmundson, 22, of Wilson, N.C., also was killed in Ar Ramadi when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Bradley Fighting Vehicle during combat operations.

Niedermeier was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo., and Edmundson was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson.

Both soldiers’ units were stationed at Camp Hovey, South Korea, before deploying to Iraq in August with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Strike Force).

The Strike Force’s 3,500 soldiers are expected to move to Fort Carson, Colo., when their Iraq tour ends. The latest deaths bring the total number of Strike Force soldiers killed in Iraq to 62, according to a Stars and Stripes tally.

As of Thursday, at least 1,663 U.S. troops have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to the Defense Department. Those figures include at least 1,274 who died as a result of hostile action, including four civilians.

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