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Two NC-based paratroopers killed in Iraq in explosion

FORT BRAGG (AP) -- Two paratroopers based in North Carolina have died from wounds they suffered in an explosion in Iraq. The 82nd Airborne Division said Thursday that 23-year-old Sergeant John C. Osmolski of Eustis, Florida, and 32-year-old Corporal Miguel A. Baez III of Bonaire, Georgia died Tuesday. Both were fatally injured while conducting combat operations near Al Muqdadiyah. Osmolski was a combat engineer with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Special Troops Battalion in the 82nd Airborne. His company commander, Major James Downing, said Osmolski was a "premier sapper" and would have been a leader in the engineer world. Baez was an assistant machine gunner with the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. His company's 1st sergeant, Kevin Spooner, says Baez always volunteered to help. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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