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Iraq: Anti-American Grenade Attack

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  • ummyakoub
    Iraq: Anti-American Grenade Attack 7 U.S. soldiers hurt in grenade attack Anti-American sentiment high after fatal shootings A U.S. soldier shuts himself
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2003
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      Iraq: Anti-American Grenade Attack

      7 U.S. soldiers hurt in grenade attack

      Anti-American sentiment high after fatal shootings
      A U.S. soldier shuts himself inside an armored personnel carrier
      inside a walled compound in Fallujah, where attackers lobbed two
      grenades Thursday, wounding seven soldiers.



      NBC, MSNBC AND NEWS SERVICES

      FALLUJAH, Iraq, May 1 — As President Bush prepared to declare that
      major combat in Iraq is over, U.S. troops were attacked in the latest
      in a series of clashes and deadly shootings in Fallujah. Attackers
      lobbed two grenades into a U.S. Army compound Thursday, wounding
      seven soldiers. Just hours earlier, American forces returned fire
      from gunmen apparently interspersed among Iraqi protesters in the
      street outside, a U.S. intelligence officer reported.


      THE ATTACK early Thursday morning on the U.S. base in
      Fallujah, a Sunni Muslim city west of Baghdad, was apparently in
      retaliation for the killing of residents by U.S. troops who fired at
      angry crowds twice this week, the military said.
      "The (Thursday) attack was an expression of the anger of a few
      people in the city after what happened," U.S. Captain Alan Vaught
      said. The U.S. Central Command said that of seven soldiers wounded,
      five required medical attention and were in a stable condition.
      The troops inside the walled compound — a former police
      station — opened fire on men fleeing the area, but no one was
      captured or believed hit, said Rosenblatt, whose 82nd Airborne
      Division is handing over control of Fallujah to the Armored Cavalry.
      Officers said the attackers' identities were unknown.
      Tensions have flared in Fallujah, where anti-American
      sentiment was already high, after soldiers in the compound and in a
      passing Army convoy opened fire Wednesday on anti-American
      demonstrators massed outside. American officers said that barrage was
      provoked when someone fired on the convoy from the crowd.
      Local hospital officials said two Iraqis were killed and 18
      wounded.
      Fallujah residents denied firing on troops, and no weapons or
      suspects have been produced.
      Wednesday's march was to protest earlier bloodshed Monday
      night, when 16 demonstrators and bystanders were killed and more than
      50 wounded, according to hospital counts. In that clash, an 82nd
      Airborne company, whose members said they were being shot at, fired
      on a protest outside a school occupied by U.S. soldiers.
      Demonstrators said that no gunfire came from their side during
      the Monday night incident.
      Some Fallujah residents said they had heard relatives of
      victims vow to avenge Wednesday's shootings — and many in the city
      have declared they want the American troops to leave.

      An Iraqi man lies dead in the street as others, some injured,
      scramble for safety in Fallujah, on Wednesday. U.S. troops opened
      fire on demonstrators for the second time this week as Iraqis marched
      to protest the earlier shooting. Click "Play" to learn more.



      `BAD ACTORS' IN FALLUJAH



      May 1 — Seven U.S. soldiers were injured overnight in Fallujah when
      a grenade was lobbed into their position. NBC's Patricia Sabga
      reports.



      Brig. Gen. Dan Hahn, the Army V Corps chief of staff, said
      U.S. forces had solid intelligence that the "bad actors" in Fallujah
      were members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party who were using crowds as
      cover during demonstrations.
      "The people in the city want to get rid of this problem. We
      have people in the city coming up to tell us who the bad actors are,"
      Hahn said. "In every instance, our soldiers have shown discipline and
      restraint."
      In the future, he said, tear gas and other riot control
      measure might be used to quash violent demonstrations.
      Fallujah, a city of 200,000 people 30 miles west of Baghdad,
      benefited more than most Iraqi towns from Saddam's regime.
      The regime built chemical and other factories that generated
      jobs for Fallujah's workers and wealth for its businessmen. Many of
      its young men joined elite regime forces such as the Republican Guard
      and Special Republican Guard.
      WashPost: Tension high in Fallujah


      SECURITY MEETING
      U.S. military officials met Wednesday with local religious and
      clan leaders on the security situation.




      "We asked the commanding officers for an investigation and for
      compensation for the families of the dead and injured," said Taha
      Bedaiwi al-Alwani, the new, U.S.-recognized mayor of Fallujah.
      Residents told reporters they were troubled by soldiers
      looking at Fallujah women, and some believed the goggles or
      binoculars used by the Americans could see through curtains or
      clothing.
      Despite the clashes in Fallujah, U.S. military commanders in
      Baghdad said the overall situation in Iraq is improving.
      "If you look at the country as a whole, it is stable," said
      Hahn. However, he said the massive amount of arms and ammunition
      being uncovered daily across Iraq posed a major problem.
      "The entire country is almost like an ammunitions and weapons
      dump. And they've placed them in places you would not expect," he
      said. "There are weapons here from every country in the world that
      makes weapons."
      In the northern city of Mosul, 153 arms caches had already
      been found, one containing 1.2 million mortar rounds and 65,000
      artillery shells. Some 150 arms and ammunition sites have been
      discovered in Baghdad, officials said.






      COALITION RADIO BROADCAST
      In a radio broadcast Thursday, the commander of U.S. ground
      forces in Iraq urged citizens to help move the country forward by
      going back to work, stopping looting and cooperating to improve
      postwar security.
      Lt. Gen. David McKiernan made the statement through
      Information Radio, the U.S.-led coalition's station, which is being
      broadcast across Iraq.
      "I call for putting an end to all acts of sabotage and
      criminal acts including plundering, looting and attacking coalition
      forces," he said in remarks read by an announcer in Arabic.
      Information Radio has been running frequent announcements
      exhorting Iraqis to accept U.S. forces, and warning any foreign
      fighters in Iraq to leave or face arrest.
      McKiernan also said that any checkpoints not supervised by
      coalition forces are unauthorized.





      • Slide show: Occupied Baghdad





      OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:
      Defense officials tell NBC News that a mass grave has been
      identified west of Baghdad. Officials say that bodies, skulls and
      some uniforms were found. They said it appears that some of those
      killed were shot "execution-style." Officials say that the bodies
      could be those of Kuwaiti POWs, missing since the 1991 Gulf War.
      Defense sources say there are plans to send a sensitive site
      exploitation team to examine and investigate the mass grave. Also,
      officials say that another mass grave, previously found in northern
      Iraq, is believed by U.S. officials to hold the remains of Iranian
      POWs.
      A government official in Jordan said customs officers searching
      travelers leaving Iraq have confiscated dozens of artworks and
      archaeological items that may have been stolen from the National
      Museum in Baghdad and Saddam's palaces.
      Britain will establish its first diplomatic presence in Iraq for 12
      years when a team of officials travels to Baghdad this weekend,
      Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Thursday. The four-member
      diplomatic mission will set up an office to prepare for reopening an
      embassy once a new government is in place. The British embassy in
      Baghdad closed on Jan. 12 1991, four days before Operation Desert
      Storm launched the Gulf War
      A group of civil engineers were shot at while working in a gas-oil
      separation plant in southern Iraq's Rumeila oil fields, according to
      the U.S. Central Command. No injuries were reported; Central Command
      did not give the nationality of the engineers or any details about
      the assailants.


      NBC's Pentagon staff, The Associated Press and Reuters
      contributed to this report.


      http://www.msnbc.com/news/870749.asp?vts=050120031200
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