Insurgent Attacks Kill Coalition Soldiers, Iraqi Civilians
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTION, Mar. 12, 2004 Two Task Force All American soldiers were killed and another was injured when their vehicle was struck March 11 by an improvised explosive device, Combined Joint Task Force 7 officials reported today.
The soldiers were from the 1st Brigade Combat Team and were part of a convoy escort northeast of Habbiniyah. The wounded soldier was taken to the 31st Combat Support Hospital and was in stable condition.
Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy operations director for CJTF 7, told reporters during a briefing in Baghdad today that several Iraqis have been murdered over the past 48 hours by anti-coalition forces.
Kimmitt said two Iraqi civilians were killed during drive-by shootings; one was an employee of an Iraqi television station in Mosul. In a separate incident, a security guard was killed when a grenade was tossed inside a mosque.
In Basara, Kimmitt said, two women who worked for a coalition contractor were shot at close range March 10 outside their home. The women had just returned home from their duties as laundry workers.
Kimmitt said the number of attacks against coalition forces has averaged about 19 daily for the past week, and that insurgent attacks averaged fewer than four daily against Iraqi security forces, and two per day against Iraqi civilians.
The general reported the coalition is continuing offensive operations to capture and kill anti-coalition forces. In the past 24 hours, he said, coalition forces conducted 1,457 patrols, 32 offensive operations and 13 raids, capturing 81 anti-coalition suspects.
Once such raid March 11 in Khalidiyah targeted four people believed to be part of a bomb-making cell. That operation, Kimmitt said, led to the capture of 21 suspects, including two primary targets.
In other coalition operations, soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division -- the Stryker Brigade Combat Team -- and local Iraqi police detained several people suspected of anti-coalition activities and conducted ongoing weapons - collection operations in northern Iraq.
Iraqi police in Tall Afar detained two people transporting 27 rockets, 300 7.62 mm rounds and 160 pistol rounds. The individuals were taken to the Tall Afar jail for questioning.
Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, detained one person in Sinjar for suspected anti-coalition activities.
Kimmitt also reported that Iraqi citizens continue to turn in weapons to coalition forces. Members of the Coalition for Iraqi Unity, a concerned group of citizens in northwestern Iraq, approached soldiers of the 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, near Sinjar and turned in 31 rocket-propelled-grenade rounds, 52 hand grenades, two RPG launchers, 133 14.5 mm rounds, 16 115 mm rounds, 250 .30-caliber rounds and 10 100 mm rounds. Another group handed over 130 hand- grenade fuses, 65 60 mm mortar rounds and 16 120 mm mortar rounds to the unit.