U.S. troops fought off two simultaneous attacks on military convoys Sunday in northern Iraq, killing 54 attackers, wounding 18 and capturing eight others, military officials said.
"This was a coordinated, simultaneous attack," [4ID spokeman, Master Sgt.] Cargie said, with one convoy being attacked on the east side of the city and the other coming under fire while in the west side of Samarra.
Five U.S. soldiers were wounded in the simultaneous ambushes, which took place about 1:30 p.m. Sunday (5:30 a.m. EST). Three were hospitalized, but none suffered life-threatening wounds.
Many residents said Saddam loyalists attacked the Americans, but that when U.S. forces began firing at random, many civilians got their guns and joined the fight. Many said residents were bitter about recent U.S. raids in the night.
Many residents said the Americans opened fire at random when they came under attack, and targeted civilian installations. Six destroyed vehicles sat in front of the hospital, where witnesses said U.S. tanks shelled people dropping off the injured. A kindergarten was damaged, apparently by tank shells. No children were hurt.
"Luckily, we evacuated the children five minutes before we came under attack," said Ibrahim Jassim, a 40-year-old guard at the kindergarten. "Why did they attack randomly? Why did they shoot a kindergarten with tank shells?"
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.