Five U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq During Attack on Coordination Center
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2007 Five U.S. soldiers were killed and three wounded yesterday while repelling an attack on the Provincial Joint Coordination Center (PJCC) in Karbala, Iraq, military officials reported today.
The PJCC is used by local Iraqi officials, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces to meet and address the security needs of the population, said Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, deputy commander Multinational Division-Baghdad.
“A meeting was taking place at the time of the attack to ensure the security of Shiite pilgrims participating in the Ashura commemoration,” Brooks said.
Ashura is a Muslim day of remembrance observed differently by Muslim Shiite and Shia sects. Because of the differences, there is often violence during Ashura, which will be observed this year on Jan. 28.
An illegally armed militia group attacked the PJCC with grenades, small arms and indirect fires while coalition forces, Iraqi officials and security forces met to discuss future security needs, according to officials.
Following the attack, the coordination center was secured by coalition and Iraqi forces.
“The attack on the Karbala PJCC was aimed at coalition and Iraqi security forces working together toward a better future for the citizens of Karbala,” said Lt. Col Scott R. Bleichwehl, a Multinational Division-Baghdad spokesman.
The deceased soldiers’ names are being withheld pending notification of their next of kin.