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Accident Kills Iraqi Civilians; Troops Nab 19 Terror Suspects

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2006 – In what was described as an accident during training, a U.S. unit fired an artillery shell June 2 that killed three Iraqi civilians, military officials in Iraq reported today. Officials also announced the capture yesterday of 19 terror suspects in eastern Baghdad.

On June 2, a Task Force Band of Brothers unit fired an artillery round from a military base near Baqubah, Iraq, that landed in an inhabited area, officials said. The unit, from the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, fired a 155 mm round from a Paladin self-propelled howitzer during training, and it hit in the town of Hibhib.

A short time later, Iraqi police reported an explosion at a building in the town that killed two Iraqi civilians, injured four others and damaged six houses.

U.S. soldiers from a nearby military base responded to the incident to provide medical care and any assistance needed by town officials. One of the injured civilians was evacuated to a nearby coalition medical facility, but later died from her wounds. The three other injured citizens were treated on site and released.

An investigation into the incident is under way, officials said.

In other news, soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, conducted a cordon-and-search operation early yesterday to capture terrorist leaders in the Adhamiyah district of eastern Baghdad. In what officials described as an "intelligence-based, precision mission" dubbed Operation Roaring Tiger, the soldiers netted 19 suspected terrorists. Officials said the mission will disrupt the enemy's ability to conduct future attacks in the Adhamiyah area.

One detainee, while being processed, reported having difficulty breathing. He was taken to al Yarmook Hospital, where he was pronounced dead of a heart attack. No Iraqi or coalition soldiers were injured.

"This was a complex operation that netted 19 suspected terrorist leaders from 14 different locations," said Army Maj. Gen. J.D. Thurman, Multinational Division Baghdad commander. "It was planned and executed by 2/6 Iraqi Army. It is not only indicative of their capability, but shows the Iraqi people their soldiers are not only taking the fight to the enemy, they are winning."

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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