Three U.S. Soldiers Killed; Bombers Stage Mosque Attacks
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2005 Three American soldiers were killed in separate attacks in Iraq Feb. 16 and 17, military officials in Baghdad reported.
On Feb. 16, a Task Force Freedom soldier was killed and three were wounded by a car bomb while on patrol in Mosul. The next day, a Task Force Freedom soldier on patrol in Tal Afar was killed and another was wounded by an improvised explosive device, and a Task Force Freedom soldier was killed by small-arms fire in Mosul.
Officials provided no other details on the attacks or on the condition of the injured soldiers.
In other news from Iraq, suicide bombers struck religious targets today. In Khadamiyah, a suicide bomber detonated as Muslim worshippers were leaving a mosque. Initial reports indicate about 60 casualties. In southern Baghdad, Iraqi guards were able to stop two suicide bombers as they attempted to gain entrance to the Haji Al Bayaa mosque. The guards identified the terrorists and shot one, whose explosives detonated at the site. The second bomber fled and his explosives detonated 100 meters from the mosque. Officials said 14 casualties resulted.
Iraqi Intervention Force soldiers and Iraqi police provided security along with mosque guards. The IIF is a counterinsurgency unit trained specifically for military operations in cities. "This is a classic example of a rapid response by Iraqis to protect their citizens and culture," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, spokesman for Task Force Baghdad and the 3rd Infantry Division.
On Feb. 17, Iraqi soldiers fended off an attack in northwest Iraq by insurgents who opened fire from two vehicles. The soldiers from the Iraqi army's 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade of the Iraqi Intervention Force, were on a foot patrol when they were ambushed. They returned fire, killing three insurgents and wounding one.
Two terrorists were killed and a third was wounded by the premature detonation of an improvised explosive device they were attempting to plant along a coalition forces supply route Feb. 17. Task Force Liberty soldiers saw the detonation and responded to the scene, detaining the wounded man. He was taken to a coalition medical facility.
An Iraqi citizen's tip led to the defusing of six improvised explosive devices in northern Iraq Feb. 17. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, received a tip through the Joint Coordination Center hotline of six possible IEDs in western Mosul. The 1- 24th confirmed the Iraqi citizen's report and had the IEDs defused.
The Iraqi Police Service graduated 183 personnel Feb. 17 from police training specialty courses at the Adnan Training Facility as part of the Iraqi government's ongoing effort to train up its security forces.
The courses consist of Basic Criminal Investigation with 49 graduates, First- Line Supervision with 16 graduates, Kidnapping Investigation with 27 graduates, Incident Command with 48 graduates, and Internal Controls with 43 graduates.
The Basic Criminal Investigation course covers topics such as theft, burglary, arson, robbery, sexual offenses, interview and interrogation techniques and homicide. Participants receive instruction and hands-on training in fingerprinting, photography, tool marks and plaster casting.
First-Line Supervision is a two-week course focusing on two major areas, the first focusing on a combination of human rights training, ethics, and policing in a democracy, the second, interpersonal skills.
The Kidnapping Investigation course teaches hostage negotiation skills and will introduce police officers to the skills involved in negotiating the successful resolution of hostage and barricade situations.
Incident Command teaches first response techniques to a crime or accident scene, how to coordinate agencies responding to the scene and managing assets at the scene.
Internal Controls is a specialty course providing training on how to deal with personnel complaints and allegations, as well as police conduct in general. Training includes processing of complaints, as well as follow-up investigations to determine the facts of all allegations made against members of the Iraqi police service in the performance of their official duties.
Officers participated in these courses in addition to the standard eight-week police training officers undergo prior to service -- or, in the case of prior- service officer recruits, the three-week "transition integration program" training course.
The police officers report back for continued duty at their respective stations immediately.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Security Transition Command news releases.)