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Iraqi, Coalition Forces Squelch Terrorist Attacks

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2005 – Iraqi and coalition forces successfully defeated a coordinated terrorist attack Aug. 5 at an Iraqi army post south of Baghdad, officials said. Six of the terrorists were killed. Twelve were captured.

The terrorists launched the attack with mortar rounds and small-arms fire at 7:55 p.m. Iraqi soldiers returned fire while Task Force Baghdad attack helicopters rushed to the site and engaged the terrorists with rockets and gunfire, officials said.

Almost simultaneously, a suicide bomber drove a truck into a nearby Iraqi army checkpoint. One Iraqi soldier was killed in the explosion. Another was wounded. The driver of the truck also was killed, but U.S. troops suffered no injuries, officials said.

"The checkpoint did what it was supposed to do," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, a Task Force Baghdad spokesman. "It stopped a terrorist from carrying out his plot to cause significant casualties and damage."

In that way, Kent noted, "the checkpoint was a success. (It) demonstrates Iraqi security forces' ability to defend against terrorist attacks."

U.S. tanks from the 48th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, arrived at the site of the explosion within minutes to help secure the area. The Iraqi patrol provided medical assistance to the wounded Iraqi soldier, officials said.

Another suicide car bomber then tried to attack a third nearby site. One of the U.S. tanks fired and hit the car, killing the driver and causing the car bomb to explode prematurely. No one else was injured, and no property was damaged in the failed terrorist attack, officials said.

Minutes later, just after 8:00 p.m., terrorists in a fourth location fired two rocket-propelled grenades and a mortar round at another Iraqi army post in southern Baghdad. None of the rounds caused any damage, officials reported.

During the next two hours, the terrorists tried to regroup for another attack on each of the two Iraqi army posts. But Iraqi and coalition Forces defeated the terrorist attacks with gunfire and rockets from the air and small-arms fire on the ground, officials said.

"I am absolutely proud of the strong determination shown by the Iraqi army," Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver, 48th BCT commander, said. "They are true patriots defending their homeland."

Added U.S. Army Maj. Liston Edge, an operations officer with the 48th BCT: "The enemy came to fight us with no success. Instead, the Iraqi army took the fight to them and succeeded. Their success is what will help secure and stabilize Iraq."

(From a Task Force Baghdad news release.)

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