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Iraqi Killed in Attack Near Baghdad Airport

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2003 – An Iraqi driver was killed and an unknown number of people wounded in an attack on an Office of the Coalition Provisional Authority vehicle near Baghdad International Airport, Combined Joint Task Force 7 officials said today.

The vehicle, a Chevy Suburban, was hit by a rocket- propelled grenade while traveling to the airport from the presidential compound. Combined Joint Task Force 7 officials said there were a number of wounded and that they had been evacuated to a nearby field hospital. There is no information on the status of those wounded in the attack.

Officials would not comment on the motivation for the attack.

The airport road leads from the center of Baghdad to the airport. While the presidential compound and the airport are secure areas, the road itself is not. Houses and forested portions line the four-lane road. There have been incidents along the road in the past, officials said.

Coalition forces had already beefed up patrols along the route. "We have increased security along the road," said Army Sgt. Patrick Compton, a spokesman with the 372nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment in Baghdad. "Coalition forces have set up random checkpoints along the route and stationed vehicles along access points. We also place night curfew enforcement patrols along the road."

Throughout Iraq, coalition forces continued "aggressive" patrols. According to a U.S. Central Command release, coalition forces conducted 1,185 day patrols and 975 night patrols. Forces worked with Iraqi police in conducting 199 day patrols and 122 night patrols.

In other news, units of the 1st Armored Division and the 4th Infantry Division conducted three raids and detained nine individuals. The units also confiscated weapons and ammunition. The raids are part of Operation Desert Scorpion.

In the 3rd Infantry Division area, U.S. military police issued identification cards, uniforms and a newly painted police car to the town of Habbaniyah's police force while 50 officers continued police training classes in Fallujah.

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