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8 Marines Killed Near Fallujah

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Eight U.S. Marines were killed and nine others wounded in action Saturday in Anbar province west of Baghdad, the U.S. military announced.
Marine Outside Fallujah
Marine Outside Fallujah
The statement gave no details of how they were killed or injured and did not say where the engagement took place, citing security. They were assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

Anbar province includes Fallujah, where the U.S. military is gearing up for a major offensive, as well as Ramadi and Qaim along the Syrian border.

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More Info 30.Oct.2004 09:38

MSNBC

8 U.S. Marines killed, 9 hurt west of Baghdad
Attack on Arab TV station kills 7; troops gird for Fallujah offensive

MSNBC News Services
Updated: 9:44 a.m. ET Oct. 30, 2004

NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq - Eight U.S. Marines were killed and nine others wounded in action Saturday in Anbar province west of Baghdad, the U.S. military announced.

The statement gave no details of how they were killed or injured and did not say where the engagement took place, citing security.

They were assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

Anbar province includes Fallujah, where the U.S. military is gearing up for a major offensive, as well as Ramadi and Qaim along the Syrian border.

Also Saturday, a car bomb exploded outside the offices of the Al-Arabiya television station in central Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding 19, police said.

The car bomb detonated near the Dubai-based network's building in the western Mansour neighborhood of the capital, killing seven people, including one woman, Police Lt. Ziad Tareq said.

Network correspondent Najwa Qassem said the injured included technicians and drivers. Police said bystanders were also hurt in the blast.

Group claims attack on Al-Arabiya
A militant group claimed responsibility for the attack on Al-Arabiya's offices. In a statement posted Saturday on a Web site clearinghouse, the group identifying itself as the "1920 Brigades" said it brought down the building of the "Americanized spies speaking in Arabic tongue."

"We have threatened them to no avail that they are the mouthpiece of the American occupation in Iraq," the statement said. It warned of more attacks against this "treacherous network." It was impossible to verify the claim's authenticity.

Al-Arabiya's general manager, Abdulrahman al-Rashed, has been a vocal critic of Islamic militants and terror attacks.

Qassem said the blast seriously damaged the network's building, including its broadcast room and sparked a fire. A giant crater was seen where the bomb exploded.

The U.S. military had no immediate comment on the blast.

Meantime, the U.S. military said Saturday that an American soldier was killed by a suicide car bomber in the nearby city of Ramadi.

A military spokesman said the attack on a U.S. army convoy occurred Friday.

U.S. forces launch attacks on Fallujah
Earlier on Saturday, U.S. forces launched airstrikes against suspected militant bases in Fallujah earlier and carried out probing attacks on the city's outskirts.

U.S. planners believe many of Fallujah's 300,000 residents have already fled the city, where militants last spring ambushed and killed four American contractors, mutilated their bodies and hung them from a bridge.

U.S. and Iraqi authorities want to curb the increasingly violent Sunni Muslim insurgency in order to hold nationwide elections by Jan. 31. Up to 5,000 Islamic militants, Saddam Hussein loyalists and common criminals are hunkered down in Fallujah, U.S. officers said Friday.

American officials stress that the final order to launch a big operation would come from Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, who has warned Fallujah to hand over followers of terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or face attack.

Allawi has issued no such order, but preparations are clearly under way, including the movement of British soldiers into areas close to Baghdad so that American forces can be redeployed for a showdown.

"We're gearing up to do an operation and when were told to go we'll go," Brig. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, deputy commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said at a camp near Fallujah. "When we do go, we'll whack them."

Frequent airstrikes
Marines have been hitting Fallujah with frequent airstrikes, targeting buildings believed used by al-Zarqawi's followers. Marines have also launched probing attacks into Fallujah's outskirts to test insurgent defenses, Marine Col. Mike Shupp said.

A U.S. warplane fired at a house in the eastern Askari district of Fallujah around sundown Friday, witnesses said. Firefighter Salam Hameed said five bodies were pulled from under the rubble. Another four people were injured.

Iraqi public outrage over reports of civilian casualties pressured the Marines into calling off their planned siege of Fallujah last April a move that strengthened the insurgents' hold on the Sunni city 40 miles west of Baghdad and likely contributed to the dramatic deterioration of security in the capital itself.

On Friday, a Sunni cleric in Baghdad, Sheik Mahdi al-Sumaidaei, warned the Americans and Iraqis against launching a full-scale attack on Fallujah. If they do, he said Sunni clerics in the capital will issue a fatwa, or a binding religious decree, ordering Muslims to launch street protests and a campaign of civil disobedience.

The United States has offered a $25 million reward for the capture of al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian extremist who announced his allegiance to al-Qaida on the Internet this month. Al-Zarqawi's movement is responsible for numerous car bombings and beheadings of foreign hostages, including three Americans.

However, U.S. officials acknowledge that even if they kill or capture al-Zarqawi, the insurgency is likely to continue.

Nevertheless, re-establishing control in Fallujah would cut vital links among insurgent groups and affect their ability to plan and carry out attacks, particularly in Baghdad.

In other developments:

* Gunmen fired on a police convoy just outside Baghdad Saturday, causing one of the vehicles to burst into flames, police said. Witnesses said they saw three policemen trapped inside the burning vehicle, but officials did not give a casualty toll.
* A roadside bomb detonated Friday evening, injuring three Iraq civilians, and a U.S. patrol in the area stopped to give aid and came under attack by small arms fire, the U.S. military said. Two more Iraqi civilians were wounded in the firefight. No American soldiers were wounded.
* Kidnappers released a 7-year-old Lebanese boy Friday a week after they grabbed him as he was walking home from school.
* Two car bombs exploded in the northern city of Mosul, killing an Iraqi civilian and slightly wounding five U.S. soldiers, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.
* U.S. troops detained a Croat truck driver in Iraq. The U.S. Embassy in Croatia said Damir Mikulic was being held at Camp Bucca, near Umm Qasr in southern Iraq, for filming U.S. military bases and training exercises. His video camera allegedly held more than eight hours of sensitive footage.
* Aqil Hamid al-Adili, an assistant to the governor of Diyala province, was killed by gunmen as he was sitting in a friend's office, police said. Al-Adili had warned of insurgent infiltration in Iraqi forces after 50 U.S.-trained Iraqi soldiers were killed last weekend.
* An American contract worker from Columbus, Ga., was killed Wednesday in a car bomb attack, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported. Travis Schnoor, 39, died when his vehicle flipped over after hitting an explosive device, the report said.


deja vu 30.Oct.2004 10:00

grandpa

At 46, a grandpa, I read the same news stories as when I was 12.
I always wondered about 'Nam, I mean they have no petroleum at all.
Is this the best the United States can do in 34 years? Same bullshit

Should I be proud of this country? NO! I see nationalism dying here.
I hope all the countrys soon die for we the people. I insist on it.