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Insurgents Shift Focus to Attacks on Iraqis

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2004 – Anti-coalition and anti-Iraqi elements are moving away from attacking coalition forces as their primary targets and more toward attacks against Iraqi civilians, security forces and government officials, a military spokesman said in Baghdad press conference today.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy operations director for Combined Joint Task Force 7, said that in the latest attack on Iraqi civilians, three vans were ambushed about a kilometer west of Fallujah.

The vans are contracted to provide laundry service for coalition soldiers at Forward Operating Base Ridgway. "One vehicle was disabled, and three Iraqi females were killed," Kimmitt said. "The other two vans and personnel received no damage and made it to Forward Operating Base Ridgway without incident. The Iraqi police and coalition forces are investigating."

Kimmitt said the attacked showed a certain amount of desperation, "if not just cold-heartedness," that "anti-coalition elements would have the audacity and the temerity to go attack women as they were going to work to provide for their families."

The general said coalition officials think they know why such attacks are taking place. "We believe that the purpose behind that is to send a message of terror to those people: that if you work for the coalition, that if you worked alongside and tried to support the coalition, we can reach out and touch you," he said.

Kimmitt also emphasized that the old adage of "kill one, terrorize a thousand" is not working against the coalition. "It is not working because it would only be working if it was impeding progress," he said.


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