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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 12/7/2003 11:32:18 AM EDT

U.S. Troops Kill Dozens of Iraqi Attackers
TIKRIT, Iraq (Nov. 30) - U.S. troops repelled simultaneous attacks Sunday afternoon in the northern city of Samarra, killing 46 Iraqis, wounding at least 18 and capturing eight, the U.S. military said. Five American soldiers and a civilian were wounded.

Many of the dead attackers were found wearing uniforms of the Fedayeen, a militia loyal to Saddam Hussein, according to Lt. Col. William MacDonald of the 4th Infantry Division. MacDonald described the attack as massive and well coordinated.

''This is the largest one for our task force since we've been in theater,'' he said.

''It sounds like the attack had some coordination to it, but the soldiers responded, used their firepower, used tank and Bradley fire and other weapons available to them, to stop this attack and take the fight to the enemy,'' he said.

Two U.S. logistical convoys were moving into Samarra when they were attacked with roadside bombs, small arms fire, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. The attacks - one on the east side of the city, the other on the west - were simultaneous, MacDonald said.

After setting up a barricade along the route of one of the convoys, the attackers opened fire from rooftops and alleyways, MacDonald said.

He said U.S. soldiers returned fire from several locations at each ambush, using small arms, 120mm tank rounds and 25mm canon fire from Bradley fighting vehicles. The U.S. fire destroyed three buildings the attackers were using, he said.

None of the wounded Americans suffered life-threatening injuries, MacDonald said. Two sustained only minor injuries, while the other three were evacuated to a hospital, along with the wounded civilian.

MacDonald said he didn't think convoy procedures needed to be altered as a result of the attack, because his troops won the battles.

''We have been very aggressive in our convoy operations to ensure the maximum force protection is with each convoy,'' he said. ''But it does send a clear message that if you attempt to attack one of our convoys, we're going to use our firepower to stop that attack.''

In a separate attack about an hour later, another convoy of U.S. military engineers was attacked by four men with automatic rifles. The soldiers returned fire, wounding all four men, MacDonald said. He said soldiers found Kalashnikov rifles and grenade launchers in their car, a black BMW.

Samarra is 60 miles north of Baghdad in the so-called Sunni Triangle where opposition to the U.S. occupation of Iraq has been fiercest.

Also Sunday, two South Korean civilian contractors were killed and two were injured in a roadside attack near Samarra. MacDonald said the attack was unrelated.

11-30-03 1617EST

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

Looks like we have learned SOME things from Mogadishu.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 11:38:51 AM EDT
By Anthony Shadid, Washington Post Foreign Service SAMARRA, Iraq (news - web sites), Dec. 1 -- Sgt. 1st Class Robert Hollis knew there was trouble even before the shooting started. As he stood guard in his M1-A1 Abrams tank outside a bank in this Sunni Muslim town, the usually busy streets suddenly emptied Sunday. Men hurried down back alleys, some running. Women dragged their children away from the positions of U.S. troops. Then, through his scope, Hollis said he saw a man lift a rocket-propelled grenade launcher to his shoulder, aiming at him and his crew of three. What followed was perhaps the bloodiest engagement since the U.S. occupation of Iraq began in April. A day later, questions persisted over essential facts of the fighting, which ebbed and flowed through much of Sunday and ended with a devastating defeat of the Iraqi guerrillas who had massed against the overwhelming power of U.S. forces. The U.S. military said Monday that as many as 54 fighters were killed. No American soldiers died. The city's hospital reported only eight dead, all of them civilians, although officials there acknowledged that the bodies of fighters might not have been brought there. To many involved -- both Iraqis and U.S. soldiers -- the confrontation stood out as an exceptionally fierce battle after months of hit-and-run attacks. Witnesses described dozens of guerrillas in checkered head scarves brazenly roaming the streets in the heat of battle, U.S. soldiers firing randomly in crowded neighborhoods and civilian bystanders taking up arms against U.S. forces once the fight got underway. For the military, the fight revealed a startling new reality about the fighters themselves -- unprecedented coordination and tactics and numbers yet unseen. Hollis says he saw a determination he did not expect from guerrillas best known for hitting, then running. "I'm telling you these guys taking some of the shots knew they were going to die," said Hollis, a 17-year veteran and native of Pensacola, Fla. "But they still, under that fire, squeezed the trigger, even though they knew that was the last thing they were going to do. They were standing the ground and fighting, and our guys were standing the ground and fighting." "Both sides are sending a message," he added. Standing on a dirt berm inside his base near Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad, he reflected on the fight. "A long one," he said. "It was a long one." Then he offered an explanation of the conflicting accounts and unanswered questions. "Everybody saw a different picture," Hollis said. Hollis and his fellow troops of the 4th Infantry Division entered Samarra at about 11 a.m. to deliver new Iraqi currency to two banks in the city. Col. Frederick Rudesheim, the brigade commander, said the force involved 100 soldiers, six tanks, four Bradley Fighting Vehicles and four Humvees. Along with them were two squads of military police and four squads of infantry. Two convoys entered Samarra at opposite ends of the city. Soon afterward, a roadside bomb detonated near each, wounding three soldiers. The soldiers pressed on. But at both locations, ambushes were sprung. The U.S. forces were attacked with small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars in fighting that Rudesheim said lasted two hours and 45 minutes. The attackers, the U.S. military said, were wearing garb they associated with fighters loyal to former president Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) -- head scarves checkered in red or black and dark shirts and pants. Capt. Andrew Deponai, a company commander, said he estimated that between 30 and 40 fighters were at each site. "This was not done in a last-minute planning effort," said Rudesheim, who acknowledged that, despite the scale of the ambush, U.S. forces lacked any intelligence on what was afoot. "This was done in a concerted effort." At the bank near the Imam Hadi shrine, a sacred destination for Shiite Muslim pilgrims, Abdel-Samad Ahmedi, a merchant, saw cars racing down the street, then heard gunfire. People ran indoors, he said, and shops were shuttered. "We couldn't see where the shots came from, but we could hear them," he said. "We heard it everywhere in the city." Down the street, Bassem Feisal was too late. The Iraqi, who is mentally disabled, stayed in the street outside a cafe, even after the shooting started, according to his brother Saad. Bassem was shot twice in the left arm, but survived a fusillade of gunfire that riddled a seven-story building near the bank with dozens of holes. Saad stood Monday near a sedan crushed under a tank's treads. "This is the gift of Mr. Bush?" he asked, his shirt smeared with his brother's blood. Hollis and other soldiers at both banks said gunfire came from all directions from men posted on rooftops and behind walls. In one engagement, U.S. military officials said about a dozen attackers were seen running out of a nearby mosque and firing. Throughout the battles, Rudesheim and others said, the fighters -- though outgunned -- showed a level of tactical sophistication. Divided into squads, they used orange-and-white taxis, BMWs and white Toyota pickups to reposition their fighters in back alleys as the battle unfolded. Guerrillas were posted at routes leading in and out of the city. Improvised mines were placed along the streets. "They're going to hit you, and before you hit them, they're going to disappear. That's their MO," said Hollis, whose tank barrel is emblazoned with the word "Comanche." "In this case they hit us, and instead of disappearing, they stayed. Did you see those tanks? Do you know the amount of firepower on those tanks? Why would you even think of attacking something like that?" At the Samarra General Hospital, the wounded started arriving in the early afternoon. A half-hour later, the area near the hospital came under fire. U.S. forces said they faced an ambush from there as they withdrew from the city. Doctors denied there was any fire from the hospital grounds. The charred shells of four cars, their paint seared off, sat in the hospital parking lot. Nearby was the wreckage of a minibus that had carried Iranian pilgrims. Someone had scrawled on it in English, "No USA, Down USA." Doctors said one of the pilgrims, an elderly Iranian man, was killed after being shot in the head and chest.
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Link Posted: 12/7/2003 11:40:10 AM EDT
Abid Toufiq, the director of the 150-bed hospital, said the wounded kept arriving in batches every 15 minutes or half-hour. In all, he said, the hospital treated 54 people, 10 of whom were in critical condition. It recorded eight dead, one of them a woman and two others under 18. The deluge was so severe inside the hospital that doctors inserted intravenous needles into patients as they lay on the floor. "If you had seen the situation, you would have said, 'God help us, how can you work here?' " said Amar Jabbar, a doctor at the hospital. Samarra, renowned for its spiraling mud-brick minaret that is one of Iraq's oldest, has long been a restive city in a region most inhospitable to U.S. forces. An American soldier was killed Monday in Habaniya, a town to the southwest of Samarra. Near the Samarra police station, a slogan reads, "We will blow up the house of anyone who works with the Americans." On the hospital, graffiti warned that there was no escape for those cooperating with U.S. forces. There was a drawing of a hand grenade near words of caution: "This is your destiny." In the climate of resentment and frustration felt here, many Iraqis insisted they supported the guerrillas and accused U.S. forces of firing randomly as they withdrew. "Everyone is with the resistance," said Safa Hamad Hassan, 22, whose cousin lay in a hospital bed with wounds to his abdomen from a tank round that landed near his house. "Saddam Hussein is finished. We are protecting our honor and our land." Throughout the battle, Hassan said, as many as 40 armed guerrillas, all dressed in head scarves, ran openly through the streets of his neighborhood. They shouted at people to go indoors. It was their most public showing since the occupation began, and Hassan was one of the few in the town to admit even seeing them. He and others said civilians took up arms -- nearly every Iraqi man has a weapon -- and joined the fight as the battle dragged on during the day. Some residents, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, criticized the guerrillas for bringing the fight inside the city. A leaflet, signed by the guerrillas, was reportedly hung recently on the city's shrine, listing those who had collaborated with U.S. forces and would be killed. More common were the sentiments at the Imam Shafai Mosque, near the hospital. Residents said the mosque was struck by a tank round at 5 p.m., killing a man and his son, whose blood still mixed with mud outside the mosque Monday. "Even in worship, we're not safe from the Americans," said Abdel-Rahman Abdel-Qadir, an assistant at the mosque. U.S. officials said they were unaware of the reported incident at the mosque and said troops had left the city an hour earlier. At a briefing at the nearby base Monday, Rudesheim, the brigade commander, said he feared what he called the misinformation that would follow the attack. Military officials had contacted the local city council to explain what happened. "We've been in this city for about five and a half months, and in that time we've made a lot of Iraqi friends," he said. "We're going to work as hard as we have over the past five and a half months to gain the respect of the Iraqi people." Correspondent Alan Sipress in Baghdad contributed to this report.
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Link Posted: 12/7/2003 12:02:42 PM EDT
"Civilians" picking up weapons, and shooting us. They are certainly welcoming their "liberators", aren't they?? Word is, it was no more than a dozen, to 20 fighters harassing our convoys. US troops blew away a lot of real estate, and killed innocents with indiscriminate fire..... We ain't got any friends there, that we don't pay CASH too.... The Iraqi's are doing what any freedom loving patriot would do... Defend their soil from foreign invaders who are killing their neighbors.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 12:08:24 PM EDT
Word is, it was no more than a dozen, to 20 fighters harassing our convoys. US troops blew away a lot of real estate, and killed innocents with indiscriminate fire.....
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Why dont you come out and say who is spreading that "word". The anti-American Agence France Press, the French Goverment owned press agency who has called the US the "agressor" from the very begining and the Muslim staffers of Reuters, a news agency that refueses to refer to Al Qaida as "terrorists". Of course a fellow anti-American like yourself would welcome their attempts to undermine the US goverment.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 5:34:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/7/2003 5:36:40 PM EDT by Dru]
LOL....Yea.... And there was some serious ass kicking going on in Cincinnati too![stick] [url]http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/Midwest/12/01/died.in.custody.ap/[/url]
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