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HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Feb. 1) – Another son of Micronesia – a marine from Saipan – became the latest casualty in the continuing war in Iraq this week.

U.S. Marine Adam Quitugua was reportedly killed in action in Iraq on Jan. 29, Ruth Coleman, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Military Veterans Affairs director, said in a Saipan Tribune story.

Quitugua would have celebrated his 21st birthday this March.

His death brings to 15 the total number of sons of Micronesia killed in Iraq since the war began in 2003. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has seen four of its sons killed in Iraq. To date, more than 3,100 Americans have been killed in Iraq.

Quitugua is survived by his brothers, Frank and Christopher, and parents, Angelina Quitugua and Wen Emul, according to the Saipan Tribune.

The family started a nightly rosary at the Tanapag church on Saipan yesterday.

Quitugua's aunt Bernie Q. Saralu said she treated her nephew as one of her sons. She said she took care of Quitugua when his mother moved to Washington.

"He called me mama, as well," she said in an interview with the Tribune yesterday afternoon.

Although it broke her heart when her nephew left for Washington in 2003, she knew it was his choice. She said he didn't join the military until after he graduated high school in Washington.

Quitugua lived with his mom Angelina throughout his schooling. He then joined the military in September 2006 and was immediately deployed in Iraq.

Saralu said their family on Saipan received a call from her daughter who also lives in Washington at 8:30 a.m. yesterday, the Tribune reported.

Saralu's daughter said officials told her that Quitugua had died and his body remains in Iraq, but said further details were not provided.

Saralu said details are expected today.

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