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Officials Provide More Details of Baghdad Bombing

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2005 – Military officials today released more details about the three car bombs that detonated near the Palestine and Sheraton hotels in central Baghdad early Oct. 24.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Iraqi soldiers with the 8th Division pull security during an air assault exhibition Oct. 24 at Camp Echo, Iraq. This exhibition is part of a demonstration of the 8th Division's abilities for Iraqi, Middle Eastern and Western media. Photo by Senior Airman Patrick J. Dixon, USAF

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The first car bomb caused a breach in an outer barrier wall of the Palestine and Sheraton hotels, at Firdos Square traffic circle, officials said.

About five minutes later, a second car bomb approached the square and tried to maneuver through the breach, but was engaged by civilian security forces and detonated near the 14th Ramadan Mosque.

Thirty seconds later, a Task Force Baghdad soldier engaged a cement truck that was moving through the breached wall. The truck exploded near a coalition vehicle, causing moderate damage.

At least six civilians were killed and 15 others were wounded in the attacks. No coalition forces were injured.

In other developments, two Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), were killed in action when their vehicle was attacked with an IED near Amariyah Oct. 21.

These two Marines are in addition to those announced in an Oct. 22 Multinational Force Iraq news release. Due to the circumstances of the incident, positive identification could not be made in time for earlier reporting, officials said. The attack killed a total of four servicemembers.

In addition, the initial release erroneously stated that two Marines had died. Further review shows that they were a Marine and a sailor.

The names of the deceased are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In other news from Iraq, coalition forces raided three suspected terrorist safe houses, detained six terrorists, and killed several others in Ushsh today.

Acting on multiple intelligence sources and tips from concerned citizens, coalition forces raided the safe houses, which were suspected to be terrorist strongholds used to conduct attacks against local Iraqi citizens, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces.

Upon arriving at the suspected terrorist safe house, coalition forces entered the house and found armed terrorists, women and children. In the ensuing gunfight, the suicide vest of one of the terrorists detonated, causing the building's roof to collapse. The women and children were rescued from the rubble and treated by medical personnel. The group was then moved to a safe area.

Coalition forces then moved to two other suspected safe houses and secured and searched them, detaining six terrorists. Upon leaving the terrorist stronghold, coalition forces called in close-air support and destroyed the three buildings.

Elsewhere, Task Force Baghdad soldiers sealed off a road in western Baghdad Oct. 24 after finding two large explosive devices rigged to explode. The patrol first reported finding an improvised explosive device in the median of the road. A short time later, they discovered another about 10 meters away.

To ensure the safety of the local residents along the busy road, the soldiers cordoned off the area and called in an explosives ordnance disposal team to take care of the IED. The EOD team recovered 12 60 mm mortar rounds with a timing device.

In other combat operations Oct. 23, a Task Force Baghdad patrol in northwestern Baghdad found an IED made up of a 152 mm round encased in a concrete block with wires protruding from the end. The soldiers detained a suspicious man who was mixing concrete nearby. Along with the incomplete IED, the patrol found two AK-47 assault rifles and 400 rounds of ammunition.

Another U.S. patrol west of Baghdad found an anti-tank mine wired to batteries in a plastic bag. An EOD team later destroyed the bomb.

Around the same time on Oct. 23, another Task Force Baghdad patrol on a combat mission found two 130 mm rounds rigged for remote-controlled detonation alongside a road north of Baghdad. EOD also disposed of that bomb.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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