Three G.I's Killed in Iraq Grenade Attack

Alain St-Amour alainstamour at mail.com
Sat Jul 26 11:38:13 MDT 2003


Hi everyone,

There is nothing new or particulary interesting about this story, but there are two paragraphs which seem a bit odd:

"In Mosul today, American troops used bulldozers to begin to demolish the house after scouring it for clues on the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein, Reuters reported.

The wall surrounding the fortified villa was knocked down and Iraqi workers clambered over the roof, pounding it with sledgehammers. The villa was partly destroyed when American troops attacked it on Tuesday with machine guns, grenades and antitank missiles."

Why are American troops in such a hurry to demolish the house?

Has this been the standard modus operandi for all buildings and structures that have been on the receiving end of a US military attack?

In Solidarity,
Alain

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http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/27/international/worldspecial/27IRAQ.html?hp=&pagewanted=print&position=

July 27, 2003 - NYT
Three G.I's Killed in Iraq Grenade Attack
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.

BAQUBA, Iraq, July 26 — Three American soldiers were killed and four were wounded this morning when insurgents attacked members of the Fourth Infantry Division as they were guarding a children's hospital in this town about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad.

The site of the attack is on the eastern fringe of the region where violence against American soldiers since the end of major combat has been the worst.

It capped a week of strikes against American troops, including the ambush deaths of four soldiers and the wounding of at least six more, in and around Mosul, where Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay were killed by American troops on Tuesday.

In Mosul today, American troops used bulldozers to begin to demolish the house after scouring it for clues on the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein, Reuters reported.

The wall surrounding the fortified villa was knocked down and Iraqi workers clambered over the roof, pounding it with sledgehammers. The villa was partly destroyed when American troops attacked it on Tuesday with machine guns, grenades and antitank missiles.

In the days following the siege of the home in Mosul, a steady stream of informants' tips have led to major raids, including one in Tikrit, Mr. Hussein's hometown, that resulted in the capture of nearly a dozen people suspected of being the deposed dictator's personal bodyguards. Military officials said the arrests may help American troops in their search for Mr. Hussein.

In Baghdad overnight, blasts and gunfire rang out, but the United States military said there were no reports of any deaths. In Baghdad's al-Shoala neighborhood, the commander of Iraq's national police academy, Brig. Ahmed Kadhim, was wounded while leading a raid on suspected hijackers about 1 a.m., The Associated Press reported.

Brigadier Kadhim's assistant, Capt. Mushtak Fadhil, said five other officers also were wounded, one critically, when shots were fired as the police confronted five suspects. The suspected hijackers were arrested, he said.

A contingent of 450 Spanish troops left the town of Santiago de Compostela today, Agence France-Presse reported.

The troops are an advance group of a 1,300-member Spanish contingent that will serve in a multinational force in postwar Iraq.

The Spanish will operate under Polish control in the southern regions of Qadisiyah and Najaf. They are to be joined by 1,100 troops from Central American states and are expected to serve for six months.

The attack today in Baquba happened about 11 a.m. when a grenade was hurled at American soldiers as they guarded the children's hospital, said Specialist Nicole Thompson, a military spokeswoman in Baghdad.

Witnesses said that one attacker threw a single grenade over a wall into the garden of the hospital, but one soldier at the scene disputed that account.

Hamid Satar, 27, who left the hospital 10 minutes before the attack, said: "The Americans were sitting in the garden. There were about eight soldiers wearing T-shirts. Some of them were playing cards. Then the grenade came over them."

He said that a lot of Iraqis had been in the garden area during the morning, including children, but that the attacker must have waited until they left.

"They waited until the place was totally clear of Iraqis and then they threw the grenade," he said.

Firas Rashid, 22, who lives nearby, also said the attacker threw only one grenade. He said that after the attack, military officials sealed off the area and were searching people inside the hospital. "They kept everybody inside," he said.

Several people said the attacker was no one they knew.

This was one of the most serious attacks against Americans since President Bush declared major combat operations to be over on May 1, but there have been other strikes in the area in the past several weeks.

The children's hospital faces the Tigris River. Several hours after the attack, five armored vehicles and at least eight smaller military vehicles were on the scene, along with a large number of American soldiers.

The street had been blocked off with razor wire. About 60 or 70 Iraqis were milling about outside the cordoned off area.

A military translator emerged from the hospital at 6:30 p.m. and spoke to the Iraqis outside.

"Nobody is allowed to enter or leave the hospital," he said. "You should go home."

He said the hospital had been sealed off, that people inside were being interviewed and he did not know when the hospital would reopen to the public.
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