Command in Iraq Releases Statement on Mosul Attack
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2004 A preliminary investigation indicates that the explosion at the U.S. Army dining facility at Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul Dec. 21 was likely caused by a makeshift bomb worn by a suicide attacker, a written statement from Multinational Force Iraq said today.
Earlier, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers broke the news at a Pentagon news conference, and indicated the command in Iraq would follow with an official statement.
"Evidence found at the site includes components normally associated with improvised explosive devices," the Multinational Force statement said. "There was no physical evidence of a rocket, mortar or other type of indirect-fire weapon."
Army Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, has ordered a full investigation to determine the complete facts and circumstances surrounding the attack, the statement said.
The statement also included comments from Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., commander of Multinational Force Iraq. "Our prayers and condolences go out to the loved ones and families of these brave men and women," Casey said in the statement. "We will determine exactly what happened at FOB Marez and continue to work to ensure the safety and security of our people and our operating bases."
Military officials have expected increased violence as insurgents try to intimidate the Iraqi people and disrupt January elections. "Insurgents are desperate to create the perception that elections are not possible," Casey's statement continued. "We will not allow terrorist violence to stop progress toward elections."
Updated information establishes that 22 people were killed in the attack, including 14 U.S. servicemembers, four U.S. civilian contractors, three members of the Iraqi security forces, and one unidentified non-U.S. person, the command's statement said.