U.S., Iraqi Troops Strike Samarra Insurgents
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2004 About 1,000 Iraqi Army and National Guard troops backed up by U.S. 1st Infantry Division soldiers deployed into Samarra early today to eliminate a troublesome insurgent presence there.
Since operations began shortly after midnight, U.S. and Iraqi forces in Samarra have been busy securing Iraqi government and police buildings and battling insurgents. Official sources have one U.S. soldier was killed and four others have been wounded in the fighting so far.
Samarra is a city on the Tigris River located about 60 miles north of Baghdad. Along with the Sadr City section of Baghdad and the city of Fallujah to the west, it has been a base for resistance fighters who oppose the interim Iraqi government and the U.S. presence in Iraq.
Iraqi security troops secured the Samarra Bridge early on during the operation. American forces observing this activity also noticed insurgents in speedboats offloading weapons onto the banks of the Tigris. The U.S. soldiers engaged the insurgents and destroyed the boats.
As Iraqi and U.S. forces moved into Samarra, they were attacked by enemy rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire. Throughout the morning U.S. and Iraqi troops destroyed insurgent mortar emplacements, RPG teams and vehicles carrying anti-Iraqi forces.
The 36th Iraqi Commando Battalion secured Samarra's historic Golden Mosque around 11 a.m. The commandos also captured about 25 insurgents who were in the mosque and some weapons.
Soldiers from the 202nd Iraqi National Guard Battalion and the 7th Iraqi Infantry Battalion were taking part in the Samarra operation.
Scores of the enemy have been reported killed or wounded so far in the operation.
(Compiled from Multinational Forces Iraq news releases.)