Thursday, February 15, 2007

Eric Ross killed in explosion during breaching operations

AUGUSTA, Maine --An Army sergeant with ties to Maine was killed Friday in combat operations in Iraq.

Eric Ross, 26, was killed in Baqubah, a city northeast of Baghdad in Iraq's Sunni Triangle, according to Gov. John Baldacci. U.S. and Iraqi forces have been battling Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias for months around Baqubah.

Ross was a Maine native who was assigned to B Company, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, of the 1st Cavalry Division. His parents live in East Corinth and Levant, near Bangor.

Baldacci called Ross a hero. He is the state's first known military death of 2007.

"He has left his friends and family too soon," Baldacci said. "We are all thankful for his dedication and mourn his sacrifice. His actions and commitment will be remembered."

Besides his parents, Ross is survived by his wife and two children. David Farmer, a spokesman for the governor's office, said he thinks Ross lived with his family in Texas.

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