Mississippi Guardsman Killed

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National Guard officials say a Mississippi guardsman died Thursday in Iraq when his truck hit a land mine near the Syrian border.

Specialist James Anderson Chance, III, of Kokomo, is the first Mississippi guardsman killed since the beginning of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He was 25. The death is under investigation.

According to officials, Chance's unit, Company C, 890th Engineer Battalion, was attached to the Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment when the incident occurred about 6:00 a.m.

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove said he was "deeply saddened by the death of one of Mississippi's sons."

The 890th Engineer Battalion is headquartered in Gulfport with units in Pascagoula, Picayune, Wiggins, Lumberton, Purvis, Columbia, and Richton.

It was mobilized in February 2003, and arrived in the Middle East in April. The battalion has about 600 members.