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U.S. Missile Strike in Fallujah

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  • U.S. Missile Strike in Fallujah

    I just found this story on Yahoo. Anybody know anything more about it?

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...d=540&ncid=716
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  • #2
    Just heard about from your post!
    Here is the NYT article:



    A U.S. Airstrike Kills at Least 22 in Falluja
    By EDWARD WONG

    Published: June 20, 2004


    BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 19 The American military on Saturday morning carried out an airstrike on a residential area in the volatile city of Falluja, firing missiles that killed at least 22 people, residents and a police chief in the area said.

    A warplane launched two missiles that reduced to rubble at least two homes and damaged at least two others in the impoverished Jubail district, they said, according to several news agency reports. The attack took place around 9 or 10 a.m., the reports said. People at the site spent the morning and afternoon pulling bodies and body parts from the debris.

    It was unclear who or what was the target of the attack, and the American military said it had no immediate comment. Residents said civilians, including women and children, were among the dead.

    "The number of casualties is so high because after the first missile, we jumped to rescue the victims," Wissam Ali Hamad, a resident, told The Associated Press. "The second missile killed those trying to carry out the rescue."

    The strike is the first assault by the Americans on Falluja, 35 miles west of Baghdad, since the Marines withdrew from the city in late April. It could mean the start of a new American offensive in what has become the single most problematic city for the occupation forces. On April 5, the Marines encircled Falluja and began an invasion that left 10 marines and hundreds of Iraqis dead and transformed the city into a rallying cry for anti-American sentiments throughout the Middle East.

    Faced with the possibility of a huge political reaction in the Arab world if the invasion continued, the White House ordered a halt to those operations. The Marines surrendered control of Falluja to an Iraqi militia of 2,000 men that call themselves the Falluja Brigade. The brigade is headed by Muhammad Latif, a former official of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party who had a falling out with Mr. Hussein.

    The brigade, partly composed of insurgents who were fighting the Marines, has failed to clamp down on the guerrillas, and American military officials have expressed disappointment at the results. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the spokesman for the occupation forces, has said that Falluja had a "mixed report card" and that the military was not satisfied with the results.

    None of the insurgents have turned in their arms. The people who ambushed and killed four American security contractors followed by the mutilation of their bodies by a raging crowd remain at large. Military officials say they believe the Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has used Falluja as a base at various points.

    On Saturday, residents of Falluja brought the dead to the martyr's cemetery to be buried in a row of 22 graves, Reuters reported.

    Fighting flared up elsewhere in the so-called Sunni Triangle, as battles continued between American soldiers and insurgents around the city of Baquba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. It was the fourth day in a row of heavy fighting.

    The clashes have been in the village of Buhritz, on the outskirts of Baquba. Residents have been forced to flee the area. Plumes of smoke have filled the sky in the past couple of days as armored vehicles have surrounded the village.

    American forces discovered roadside bombs in Baquba on Saturday.

    The battles began Wednesday, when American soldiers visiting the mayor's office came under fire from guerrillas armed with AK-47's and rocket-propelled grenades, said Maj. Neal E. O'Brien, a spokesman for the First Infantry Division. The soldiers searched the area and then left.

    At 3 a.m. Thursday, American forces raided the home of Hussein al-Septi, who is suspected of being a guerrilla leader. A firefight ensued. Mr. Septi was injured and arrested, Major O'Brien said.

    In the southern city of Basra, a roadside bomb exploded next to a civilian car, killing three Iraqis and one Portuguese contactor. The contractor worked for a telecommunications company. Police officers were among the Iraqis killed.

    In the afternoon, Iraqi security guards discovered a white Chevrolet Caprice believed to be loaded with explosives parked near the Basra headquarters of the Coalition Provisional Authority. The car appeared heavy, and guards yelled at the driver to move it, one of the guards said. The driver sprinted from the car and jumped into a BMW that raced from the scene.

    British forces then sealed off the area and used a robot to check out the car. Explosives were discovered inside, and the robot detonated them. A huge blast rocked the area. A second robot was used to detonate some explosives that had failed to blow up.

    In central Baghdad, hundreds of women marched in the morning to call for an end to the occupation and to protest the war.


    Khalid W. Hassan contributed reporting from Falluja for this article.
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