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California Marine killed in combat in Iraq identified

Posted at 9:51 AM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 12:51:16-04

The U.S. Department of Defense identified two service members killed in Iraq on Sunday as members of a Marine special forces unit based in North Carolina.

A Defense Department news release issued Tuesday said the Marines died while assisting Iraqi security forces in the north-central part of Iraq. The latest release did not elaborate on the circumstances.

Earlier in the week, a military news release said two service members were killed by enemy forces Sunday during a mission to eliminate a stronghold for the Islamic State group in a mountainous area of Iraq.

The slain Marines were identified in the release as Gunnery Sgt. Diego D. Pongo, 34, of Simi Valley, California; and Capt. Moises A. Navas, 34, of Germantown, Maryland.

They were both assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.