Multinational Forces Continue to Push Through Fallujah
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2004 Artillery rounds pounded insurgent positions in Fallujah, Iraq, through much of the night, and multinational forces have pushed their way through a third of the city, officials reported.
"Compared to last week, we see very, very few people in the city," a U.S. Marine official said. "We are advancing as planned, and we're being met with light resistance. The area is definitely a complex area because of all of the buildings."
At the direction of the interim Iraqi Government, Iraqi and multinational forces have controlled movement in and out of the city. The combined forces also moved to occupy key locations to the south and west of Fallujah, supported by Multinational Force Iraq ground forces, armor, artillery, close air support and air strikes.
In other news from Iraq, two Task Force Olympia soldiers were killed today after a mortar attack on a Multinational Force base in Mosul.
A civilian contractor was wounded in the attack, which happened at about 10 a.m. Iraq time.
A separate attack late Nov. 8 killed six people when a car bomb blew up outside the Yarmouk Hospital in south central Baghdad. Five of those killed were Iraqi police, and the other was an Iraqi civilian, officials said. As many as 26 Iraqi civilians were wounded.
The attack on the hospital followed two earlier car-bomb blasts in the area. Victims of the first two attacks were being treated at the Yarmouk Hospital when the third car bomb detonated.
"The terrorist clearly designed this attack to kill as many civilians as possible," said Lt. Col. James Hutton, the chief spokesman for the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division. "He has no concern for the life at that hospital, just as he has no respect for the future of Iraq." No multinational forces were injured or killed in this attack.
In the last 24 hours, the multinational forces conducted more than 1,700 patrols and missions, including 185 joint offensive operations with Iraqi security forces aimed at killing or capturing high-value targets and denying insurgents a safe-haven, military officials said in a written statement.
Humanitarian and civil military operations to improve infrastructure in many cities and regions also are continuing, the statement said. In the northern part of Thawra, reconstruction work there put more than 8,000 people back to work.
In other news, soldiers from 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), killed one person and detained another after the unit was attacked with small-arms fire. While conducting a search for roadside bombs in southern Mosul, soldiers from the 73rd Engineer Battalion were shot at from a vehicle. The soldiers quickly engaged the attackers, killing one and detaining the other. No soldiers were injured during the incident.
Elsewhere, military officials reported that eight Iraqi police officers were wounded when anti-Iraqi forces attacked two police stations in Baqubah. Iraqi police officers fended off both attacks and maintained control of their stations. The 1st Infantry Division dispatched a quick reaction force to assist.
(Compiled from Multi-National Forces Iraq news releases.)