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21 Killed, Prisoners Freed in Iraqi Raid


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#1
Nika_RedruM

Nika_RedruM

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FALLUJAH, Iraq - Guerrillas shouting "God is great" launched a bold daylight assault Saturday on an Iraqi police station and a security compound west of Baghdad, meeting little resistance as they gunned down policemen and freed prisoners in a battle that killed 21 people, police said. Most of the dead were po

The same security compound was attacked two days earlier by gunmen just as the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, Gen. John Abizaid, was visiting the site in Fallujah. Abizaid escaped that attack unharmed.


One shop owner across the street from the compound said he and his neighbors had been told by guerrillas not to open Saturday morning because an attack was imminent.


Around 25 attackers, some masked, surrounded the police station and stormed the building, going from room to room and throwing hand grenades, survivors said. The few police present at the time had only small weapons.


"I only had a pistol with me," said Kamel Allawi, a police lieutenant. "Right away I fell on the ground and blood was gushing out of my left leg."


At the same time, another group of attackers, shouting Islamic slogans "God is great" and "There is no god but Allah," opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns on the nearby, heavily protected compound of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps.


Iraqi security forces, firing from the concrete and sand barricades in front of the compound, battled the attackers for a half-hour in the streets.


Police Lt. Col. Jalal Sabri said 21 people were killed, almost all police. Among the dead were four attackers, two of whom carried Lebanese passports, he said. The remaining attackers escaped after freeing 75 prisoners.


A defense corps officer, Daeed Hamed, said he believed the attackers wanted to free three suspected insurgents — two Kuwaitis and a Lebanese — captured by the corps this week and handed over to the police. He said the three were in the jail at the time of the attack.


But Sabri said there were no guerrilla suspects among the prisoners, insisting all were criminals jailed for murder, theft or other crimes.


Hamed called the attack "well organized," saying some gunmen pinned down the defense corps forces while others stormed the nearby police station where the prisoners were freed.


The brazen raid — on the heels of the Abizaid attack — raised questions about the preparedness of some Iraqi police and defense units to take on security duties as the U.S. administration wants.


The U.S.-led coalition intends to hand sovereignty to the Iraqis on June 30 and rely more on Iraqi forces to fight the persistent insurgency, blamed on backers of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and foreign Islamic militants.


After the Thursday attack, Abizaid said of the Iraqi civil defense unit in Fallujah: "Obviously they are not fully trained. They're not ready."


No American forces could be seen in the battle. The U.S. command has said American troops could be quickly dispatched to trouble spots to help Iraqi forces as America hands over security to the Iraqis.


Of the 33 wounded, 25 were policemen, said Adel Ali, the hospital's deputy director. Hamed of the defense corps said no members of that force were killed or wounded.


"If the situation continues this way, I might leave the police force. We joined the police to provide security, but no one wants security; they (insurgents and criminals) want chaos to continue," said one policeman, Ahmad Saad, who was comforting wounded colleagues at the hospital.





Two of the dead taken to Fallujah General Hospital appeared to be attackers. They were dressed in black T-shirts and baggy pants with hand grenades in the pockets, said Mohammed Ibrahim, a hospital administrator. One had belt of machine gun ammunition.

"I suspect they were Arabs or Syrians or belonged to al-Qaida," Sabri said of the attackers. "They want to create instability and chaos."

Last week, pamphlets signed by insurgent groups were posted in Fallujah warning Iraqis not to cooperate with U.S. forces and threatening "harsh consequences." Among the groups that signed the leaflets was Muhammad's Army, which U.S. officials say appears to be an umbrella group for former Iraqi intelligence agents, army and security officials and Baath Party members.

Also Saturday, demonstrations broke out in the northern city of Sulaimaniyah and the Baghdad suburb of Abu Ghraib, where hundreds of angry Iraqis demonstrated against U.S. military raids and searches of their homes.

Carrying placards that read "Today Demonstrations, Tomorrow Explosions," protesters gathered near a giant American-run prison — built by Saddam — and demanded the release of thousands of Iraqi prisoners.

In Kurdish-majority Sulaimaniyah, thousands of protesters clamored for an independent Kurdish state that includes the three autonomous Kurdish provinces as well as disputed parts of northern Iraq (news - web sites) containing a large Arab population.

In Suwayrah, 30 miles southeast of Baghdad, Iraqi police shot and wounded three armed men in a pickup truck on Friday, and after searching the truck discovered it was wired with a bomb, said the provincial police chief Brig. Gen. Hassan Khatan.

Also Saturday, the international Red Cross said it had been given permission by U.S. authorities to see Saddam, but added no date has been set. The organization requested permission to visit Saddam soon after he was captured Dec. 13 and the United States declared him a prisoner of war.
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the
floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!~E.A.Poe
Live long and Prosper......BiOtChEs!!

#2
Louie

Louie

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Lebanese passport. In Iraq.

*Humms to himself*

Sounds like a deniable op from a secret friend.




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