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10/30/2020 2:42:12 PM
Posted: 12/27/2003 10:29:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2003 10:35:03 AM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
They pulled out all the stops in a new attack in the Polish controlled sector.

KARBALA, Iraq  — Rebels unleashed a coordinated assault on military bases and the governor's office in the southern city of Karbala (search) on Saturday, killing 13 people — including six soldiers from the U.S.-led occupation force and six Iraqi police officers — and wounding at least 172, officials said.

Four of the dead soldiers were from Bulgaria and two from Thailand. An Iraqi civilian also was killed.

Attackers detonated four suicide car bombs and fired mortar shells and grenades, wounding at least 37 other coalition soldiers, including five Americans and 19 Bulgarians, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt (search) said in Baghdad.

Some 135 Iraqi civilians and police officers also were wounded, said Ali al-Arzawi, deputy director of Karbala General Hospital (search


"It was a coordinated, massive attack planned on a big scale and intended to do much harm," Polish Maj. Gen. Andrzej Tyszkiewicz said from his headquarters at Camp Babylon, east of Karbala.

Tyszkiewicz called the ambush the most serious attack suffered by coalition forces in the south-central part of Iraq. Poland commands a multinational force of 9,500 soldiers, including 2,400 Poles.

He said three car bombers were shot before they could drive the explosive-packed vehicles into the Bulgarian bases or the damage might have been more severe. The fourth bomb exploded in front of the regional governor's office.

Tyszkiewicz did not identify the nationalities of the dead and wounded.

But a Thailand government spokesman in Bangkok, Jakrapob Penkair, said he received reports that two Thai soldiers were killed by a car bomb.

A senior Thai army official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the two were on guard duty at a military base checkpoint when the car rammed into the camp's wall.

Bulgaria's deputy defense minister, Ilko Dimitrov, said four Bulgarian soldiers were killed and 27 were wounded when a car bomb exploded at one of the Bulgarian camps. The 485 Bulgarian troops in the area were being evacuated because their bases had been destroyed, and the defense ministry had lost communication with them, he said. The headquarters was also destroyed.

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