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Soldier from Alton area dies in Iraq

By AP/KWMU

Cottage Hills, Ill. – A soldier who grew up near Alton died on Sunday in a roadside bombing in Iraq. Family members say Army Corporal Shawn Thomas Lasswell, Jr. lived in the town of Cottage Hills, Ill. until he was about eleven.

His mother and he then moved to Las Vegas. Lasswell, 21, is the eighth solider from the metro-east area to die in Iraq.

The U.S. Department of Defense has not yet released official details about the bombing, but Lasswell's family says two other soldiers were also killed.

His stepmother said Lasswell last visited her in Cottage Hills last June before being deployed to Iraq in December.

His funeral will be in Alton. That memorial might end up being the first in Illinois held with a new law on the books. Lawmakers Tuesday approved legislation that would ban protests at funerals, a response to a church in Kansas that travels the country to attend military funerals and proclaim that God is killing soldiers because of the United States' tolerance of gays.

The measure needs the governor's signature to take effect.

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