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US troops under heavy attack in Iraq

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  • ummyakoub
    US troops come under heavy attacks in Iraq KHALDIYAH, Sept 29: US forces used tanks and rocket-firing helicopters to fight their way out of ambushes on Monday
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2003
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      US troops come under heavy attacks in Iraq

      KHALDIYAH, Sept 29: US forces used tanks and rocket-firing
      helicopters to fight their way out of ambushes on Monday as two
      convoys came under heavy attack west of Baghdad, leaving at least one
      soldier dead.

      Witnesses said the Americans took heavy casualties in the assaults
      conducted with bombs, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and small arms
      northwest of Khaldiyah, where fighting raged for hours, and the
      nearby town of Fallujah.

      AFP correspondents at the scene saw two Black Hawk helicopters land
      in Khaldiyah and one left with four wounded. Two US ambulances rushed
      to the site while several US warplanes and helicopters roared
      overhead.

      A US military spokeswoman confirmed that one soldier died and another
      was wounded in a bomb attack on a convoy around the nearby town of
      Habbaniyah, where a large US base is located.

      The attacks were the latest in the Sunni Muslim region where anti-US
      sentiment runs high and attacks on American forces have been frequent
      since the ouster of Saddam Hussein in April.

      They came as the US military confirmed that six US soldiers were
      wounded on Sunday in a bomb attack on a convoy in Fallujah.

      On another front, an Iraqi official working on how to draft a new
      constitution came under gunfire, which left his bodyguard dead in the
      second attack on a political figure in nine days, authorities said on
      Monday.

      They said Jalal al-Din al-Sagheer, a prominent Shia, escaped unhurt
      when his car was fired upon about 3:00 pm (1100 GMT) on Sunday as he
      was driving home, located in a Baghdad suburb.

      The firefight outside Khaldiyah lasted more than four hours, with
      American helicopters firing six rockets and spraying machine-gun
      fire, a correspondent said.

      Lt-Col Jeff Swisher of the Third Armoured Cavalry Regiment confirmed
      that two soldiers were wounded in the ambush before soldiers returned
      fire and arrested 14 Iraqis.

      Witnesses, however, said several US soldiers were injured, and some
      appeared to have been killed, before the four US tanks, half a dozen
      Humvee vehicles and a troop transport withdrew along a back road
      under heavy fire.

      "RPGs were fired against two of the vehicles that caught fire,"
      Mohammad Mahmud, 18, said at the start of the battle. He said he saw
      several soldiers who appeared dead, including five taken away by
      helicopter.

      Jassim Mohammad, 23, a nurse, said the convoy of four military
      vehicles and a tank was attacked on a secondary road between
      Khaldiyah and Ramadi further to the west. He saw what appeared to be
      six bodies helicoptered away.

      A correspondent in Khaldiyah saw two helicopters patrolling the
      skies, joined by another two shortly after midday. The thud of RPGs
      and cannons and the rattle of gunfire echoed throughout the morning.

      The fighting died down only in the late afternoon. Another US convoy
      was attacked with at least one bomb in the town of Fallujah, Iraqi
      police and US officials said.

      Police officer Ismail Ibrahim said the convoy of three or four
      vehicles came under assault and "the Americans opened fire blindly."

      Witnesses said they saw several US soldiers wounded, some seriously,
      but there was no official confirmation. A journalist at the site saw
      one Humvee military vehicle damaged.

      Khaled Abed, 32, a local worker, reported three explosions and said a
      vehicle was damaged. He said he saw two Americans who appeared to be
      dead and were carried into a truck.

      Ayad al-Issawi, 28, said he saw what appeared to be one
      body. "Several wounded soldiers scrambled out of the car screaming
      and feeling their wounds," he said.

      BOY KILLED: In northern Iraq, US forces killed a 10-year-old Iraqi
      boy and wounded a 25-year-old man when they opened fire on Monday on
      hundreds of demonstrators who pelted them with stones in Hawija, west
      of Kirkuk, a hospital director said.

      The US army did not immediately confirm reports of the shooting near
      the major oil centre in the north.

      The casualties occurred when around 500 protesters carrying portraits
      of Saddam took to the streets of Hawija and began pelting US soldiers
      with stones, a correspondent at the scene said.

      An Iraqi police officer said that unidentified assailants fired four
      mortar rounds on Monday at a United States position in the centre of
      Kirkuk, an Iraqi police station and an army rehabilitation centre. -
      AFP

      http://www.dawn.com/cgi-bin/dina.pl?file=top11.htm&date=20030930

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