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WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense announced Friday the death of six soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The six were assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Vilseck, Germany.

Killed were:

Spc. Todd E. Davis, 22, of Raymore, Mo.Staff Sgt. Jonathan K. Dozier, 30, of Rutherford, Tenn.Staff Sgt. Sean M. Gaul, 29, of Reno, Nev.Sgt. Zachary W. McBride, 20, of Bend, Ore.Sgt. 1st Class Matthew I. Pionk, 30, of Superior, Wis.Sgt. Christopher A. Sanders, 22, of Roswell, N.M.They died Jan. 9 in Sinsil, Diyala province, Iraq, of wounds suffered Wednesday when an improvised explosive device detonated during combat operations.

A booby-trapped home ringed with bombs exploded, killing the six soldiers and injuring four others. An Iraqi translator also was killed. The Washington Post reported that the house had a “for sale” sign on it.

The soldiers were part of Operation Phantom Phoenix, an offensive that has U.S. and Iraqi troops hunting down suspected al-Qaida in Iraq militants and supporters around Baghdad and in eastern Diyala province and the northern provinces of Salahuddin, Tamim and Nineveh.

The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.


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