Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Mahmudiya Residents: Gunmen In Military Uniforms Attacked US Patrol
(Azzaman Newspaper) - 14 MAY - The US forces began search operations in orchards and villages near Mahmudiya after seven US soldiers and their translator were attacked, killing five of them and leaving three missing. Reuters reports that the patrol was attacked just before dawn near Mahmudiya, which is the same area Al Qaida kidnapped two US soldiers last year.
Another US unit heard an explosion near the US patrol but was unable to contact them. The US Army said that a UAV observed burning vehicles. An hour later when US troops arrived at the location of the incident they found five bodies. Local citizens said that the US forces began a huge search operation using helicopters and UAVs. They are searching creeks, orchards, and buildings.
They set up checkpoints trying to prevent the gunmen from escaping. Local citizens of Mahmudiya reported they saw gunmen wearing Iraqi Army uniforms stopping a US patrol that consisted of three Humvees at a fake checkpoint. When the patrol stopped, the gunmen attacked them. Finally, a group from Al Qaida said that they “arrested” the soldiers and described them as crusaders.