Sixth 2nd BCT soldier dies at Ramadi
SEOUL — The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that a sixth 2nd Infantry Division soldier was killed in Ramadi in the past few days after an improvised explosive device detonated while he was on foot patrol.
Spc. Sergio R. Diazvarela, 21, of Lomita, Calif., died Nov. 24. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Camp Howze, South Korea.
Five other 2nd ID soldiers were killed in Ramadi around the Thanksgiving holiday. So far, 27 have died in Iraq since the South Korea-based division was deployed to the Middle East in the summer.
On Wednesday, Pentagon officials announced they would boost troop levels in Iraq to 150,000, an increase of 12,000 and the highest troop level since the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion began. The increase was spurred by U.S. efforts to meet an expected increase in insurgent violence as next month’s Iraqi national election draws near.
In the last month, that insurgency has spread from Fallujah west to Ramadi as U.S.-led forces have tried to capture the rebels and uncover their weapons caches.