Seven Marines Killed in Fallujah Attack
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 6, 2004 Seven U.S. Marines and three members of the Iraqi National Guard were killed in a terror attack in the suburbs of Fallujah, officials in Baghdad said today.
A terrorist car bomb exploded, killing the men. News reports indicated other casualties, but no official word confirmed that. The seven Marines were part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. It was the largest U.S. death toll in the region since April, when Marines surrounded the city. A negotiated settlement ended the fighting.
Anbar province is the heart of anti-Iraqi forces, officials said. The region was a hotbed of support for the former regime of Saddam Hussein and remains a flash point for resistance to the Iraqi interim government and Multinational Force Iraq.
Press reports said two Humvees were also destroyed in the attack, which sent an engine from the car used to launch the attack "a good distance."
Iraqi forces and Marines have been patrolling the outskirts of the city together since April. "This desperate act of inhumanity will only serve to strengthen our commitment to the Iraqi people," Multinational Force officials said in a release. "MNF stands with Iraqis who continue to brave intimidation and terror tactics in quest of a better life.
"Our forces will continue to stay the course in order to ensure Iraqi security forces have everything necessary to set the conditions required to foster rule of law and revitalization of Iraq."
According to press reports, there was also fighting in Mosul and Iraqi police seized a car packed with explosives in the city of Kirkuk. The seizure follows an attack on a police station there that killed 15 officers Sept. 5.
Iraqi officials revealed that medical tests prove the man they have in custody is not Izzat Ibrahim Al-Douri, the former armed forces chief in Saddam's regime. Officials said the man they have is an al-Douri relative. Iraqi officials released conflicting reports Sept. 5 on the identity of the man.