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Archive for Sunday, May 4, 2008

US strike takes out militant center

A man examines an ambulance destroyed in an apparent U.S. airstrike Saturday in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad. The strike wounded nearly two dozen people.

A man examines an ambulance destroyed in an apparent U.S. airstrike Saturday in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad. The strike wounded nearly two dozen people.

May 4, 2008

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— The U.S. military fired guided missiles into the heart of Baghdad's teeming Sadr City slum on Saturday, leveling a building 55 yards away from a hospital and wounding nearly two dozen people.

Separately, the U.S. military said late Saturday that four Marines were killed on Thursday by a roadside bomb in Fallujah province. The military also said that a U.S. soldier died of wounds suffered in a roadside bomb that struck the soldier's vehicle during a combat patrol in eastern Baghdad on Friday. At least 4,071 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

AP Television News footage from Sadr City showed several ambulances destroyed and on fire, thick black smoke rising from them as firefighters worked to put out the flames.

The strike, made from a ground launcher, took out a militant "command-control center," the U.S. military said. The center was in the heart of the eight-square-mile neighborhood that is home to about 2.5 million people. Iraqi officials said at least 23 people were wounded, though none of them were patients in the hospital.

The U.S. military blamed the militants for using Iraqi civilians as human shields.

"This is a circumstance where these criminal groups are operating directly out of civilian neighborhoods," military spokeswoman Spc. Megan Burmeister told The Associated Press in an e-mail.

She said it presents a "complex and very difficult" challenge for U.S. forces to strike the militants when they are "putting themselves next to municipal buildings."

Dr. Ali Bustan al-Fartusee, director general of Baghdad's health directorate, told the AP that 23 civilians were wounded in the strike.

He said no patients in the hospital were hurt, but that some of the wounded included civilians outside on their way to visit patients in the hospital. He also said 17 ambulances were damaged or destroyed.

AP Television News footage showed about 100 people milling about in the rubble of the destroyed building. A deep crater was seen just yards from the hospital, which is surrounded by 15-foot-tall concrete blast walls. It appeared that one section of the blast wall was leveled.

Windows were blown out of cars in the hospital's parking lot, but there did not appear to be any damage to the hospital itself.

Shiite extremists are known to have operated in a building next to the hospital, local reporters said.

U.S. and Iraqi forces have waged street battles with Shiite militias since late March in Sadr City, the power base of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia.

The fighting is part of a 5-week-old crackdown by the Iraqi government and U.S. forces on Shiite militia factions. The clashes have brought deep rifts among Iraq's Shiite majority and have pulled U.S. troops into difficult urban combat.

Militia members have been blamed for firing hundreds of rockets or mortars from Sadr City into the Green Zone, the U.S.-protected area housing the American embassy and much of the Iraqi government. In the past month, more than a dozen people - including two American civilians and two U.S. soldiers - have been killed inside the zone during the attacks.

In response to the shelling, American and Iraqi troops in recent weeks have moved into Sadr City, hoping to push the militants far enough from the Green Zone so their rockets and mortars would be out of range.

Comments

Mkh 6 years, 7 months ago

It's just good to know that we are firmly against "terrorism".

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

"Wonder what the leftist kooks will say when this happens here?"We'll be condemning you for advocating the launching of missiles at an American hospital.

Doug Harvey 6 years, 7 months ago

I though all we did was hand out medicine and set up playgrounds and everything is wonderful in Iraq. Gee whiz golly, ya mean Prednit Bush is not telling the truth? I just can't understand why these Iraqis are upset at us democracy-loving Marekinz just because we destroyed their country, are looting their oil, and locking up and torturing anyone who objects. Oh wait, they attacked us on 9/11 . . . no wait, that was Afghanistan . . . that's where those hijackers came from . . . no wait, bin Laden was in Pakistan . . . no wait, the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia . . . but they're our friends . . . no wait . . . boy, good thing the media is keeping all this straight for us informed citizens.

jgragg 6 years, 7 months ago

Are you people oblivious to what happens in war? Guess what! When we are fighting in an urban environment, civilians are going to get wounded. There were Al-Qaida members attacking our own in the GREEN ZONE and killing their own. Do we let this happen continuously or do we do something about? Yes, there are many consequences to war. Not one everyday civilian knows too much about military tactics so do not act like there's a better way when you actually have no idea what other way is possible without killing many of our own. Oh an tenstring, if you are upset about Al-Qaida members being tortured maybe you should be more concerned about the Iraqi Army torture tactics than our own. Water boarding is nothing compared to getting beaten by a lead pipe. And before anybody questions me, my husband is in Iraq. They are not aloud to put a hand on detainees. The Iraqi Army on the other hand, can do whatever they want to the detainees.

jgragg 6 years, 7 months ago

Just to let you know, my husband has not has not be "forced" to kill a civilian. But he has had to clean up the aftermath of roadside bombs and suicide bombers in Kirkuk. Do a little research into what our troops actually do over there before you open your mouth and make an idiot out of yourself.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

"Are you people oblivious to what happens in war?"No, that's why many of us opposed the idiocy of invading and occupying Iraq simply to stroke Neocon egos. And your husband, along with the civilians he may be forced to murder, is paying the price.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

"He said no patients in the hospital were hurt, but that some of the wounded included civilians outside on their way to visit patients in the hospital. He also said 17 ambulances were damaged or destroyed."An action worthy of Al Qaeda. Sure glad we take the high road.

jgragg 6 years, 7 months ago

One more thing tenstring, the media does a horrible job on informing the citizens about the war. I had no idea what was happening there until my husband left.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

"One more thing tenstring, the media does a horrible job on informing the citizens about the war. I had no idea what was happening there until my husband left."Yes, the mainstream media does a horrible job. But your husband and all of his colleagues are in an impossible situation. Even though he may not have been involved in the strike described in this story, there is a good possibility that he will be ordered take part in an operation that will kill or maim civilian women, men and children. And if he's like most of his colleagues over there, he's a good man, and if he survives his ordeal over there, he very likely could be traumatized for life for what he has been forced to do. So will you and the rest of your family. And it will have been completely unnecessary.

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