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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Seven female Marines wounded in Thursday’s suicide bombing in Iraq stayed at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center before being flown to the United States on Monday.

Medical evacuation crews flew the women to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, Landstuhl spokeswoman Marie Shaw said. She said she could not release the names of the wounded or their medical conditions. Brooke has a renowned burn center.

Eleven of the 13 troops injured in the ambush were women.

The Marines were in a convoy on their way to Camp Fallujah after being assigned to checkpoints in the city. A sedan packed with explosives struck an armored Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement — a 7-ton truck known as an MTVR, Lt. Col. Dave Lapan, a Marine spokesman in Fallujah, wrote in an e-mail Monday to Stars and Stripes.

Immediately after the bombing, the convoy came under attack by small arms fire, he wrote.

Six troops died in the ambush, the military said, including Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette, 21, of Cranston, R.I. The Pentagon has not released the names of the other Americans who died.

Six Marines wounded in the attack have returned to duty, according to Lapan.

The role of women in combat has been the subject of recent debate. Women are barred from serving in direct combat roles, but women are at risk to hostile-fire situations in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Marines and Army use women at checkpoints and after some raids to help search female civilians.

“Female Marines play a vital role providing security at the entry control points in the city,” a Corps statement said. “They search female Iraqi citizens moving through the checkpoints. Female Marines are employed in this role in order to be respectful of Iraqi cultural sensitivities. Their assignment to this mission is in full accordance with Department of Defense and Marine Corps policy.”


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