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New Details Emerge About Thwarted Baghdad Suicide Attack

American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 14, 2005 – As military officials continue to investigate a thwarted suicide-bomb attack today, new details are emerging about how the events unfolded.

Two bombers with explosives strapped to their bodies approached a coalition forces checkpoint in central Baghdad shortly before 9 a.m., after a car bomb exploded about 200 meters outside the same checkpoint.

Initially, the two suicide bombers were in front of the car that exploded, then they began walking toward the Iraqi police and Iraqi army soldiers who were responding to the car bomb. U.S. military officials said they suspect the two bombers might have been targeting the first responders to the car-bomb attack.

An Iraqi soldier shot one suicide bomber, and, as the bomber fell to the ground, his explosives detonated.

Shrapnel from that explosion wounded the second suicide bomber.

"The (Iraqi) soldiers were about to pick him up and treat him like one of the wounded but then they noticed that he was wearing a suicide vest," said Maj. Alayne Conway, 4th Brigade Combat Team spokesperson.

That bomber was then shot by the (Iraqi police) and put in the back of a nearby pick-up truck until an Iraqi explosive ordnance detonation team could arrive to disarm the vest, rendering the area safe and preventing further casualties.

"The Iraqi EOD soldier was the real hero of the day as he approached the wounded suicide bomber and disarmed the vest," Conway said.

The vest was eventually turned over to coalition forces as part of their investigation.

The wounded bomber, paralyzed by bomb shrapnel and gunfire, was taken to the 86th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad's International Zone, where he remains in critical condition.

Four local Iraqi citizens were also wounded in the terrorist attack and evacuated to a local hospital.

(From a Task Force Baghdad news release.)

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