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Militia Attack Kills 5 US Troops In Iraq’s Karbala January 20, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Military News, US News, World News.
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BAGHDAD (AP)–Militia fighters attacked a provincial headquarters in Karbala, the Shiite holy city south of Baghdad, killing five U.S. soldiers Saturday night, the U.S. military reported.

The statement said “an illegaly armed militia group” attacked the building with grenades, small arms and “indirect fire,” which usually means mortars or rockets.

“A meeting was taking place at the time of the attack to ensure the security of Shiite pilgrims participating in the Ashura commemorations,” said Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, deputy commander for Multi-National Division-Baghdad.

Karbala is 80 kilometers south of Baghdad. Thousands of Shiite pilgrims are flocking to the city to mark the religious holiday.

Brooks said the meeting was taking place in the Provincial Joint Coordination Center when the attack occurred. Iraqi officials and security forces as well as U.S. troops were present.

The military statement did not mention other casualties in the attack, but said “the location has been secured by coalition and Iraqi security forces.”

Earlier Saturday, Karbala Gov. Akeel al-Khazaali said the U.S. troops raided the provincial headquarters looking for wanted men but left with no prisoners, apparently unable to find their target.

Brooks said that report was incorrect.

“Initial reporting by some media outlets indicated falsely that the attack was conducted by Coalition forces,” the military statement said.

“The PJCC is a coordination center where local Iraqi officials, Iraqi security forces and Coalition forces…meet to address the security needs of the population,” Brooks said.

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