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Iraqi Man Thwarts IED Emplacement

Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq
-- An Iraqi man foiled an assault by three armed attackers outside his home in south central Iraq on Jan. 5, shooting one of the attackers and sending the other two fleeing.

The man flagged down a group of Marines patrolling the area and described the incident. He said the assailants, armed with AK-47 rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, were attempting to set an improvised explosive device at his front door, in apparent retaliation for an earlier argument.

Spotting their attempt to blow up his house, he shot one of the three men, while the other two fled. The man then cut the timed fuse connected to the IED, a 152 mm artillery shell. After defusing the bomb, he turned it over to the Marines.

The told the Marines he believed the attackers were insurgents who decided to target him after he confronted them for repeatedly - and suspiciously - driving through his neighborhood at night.

Information provided by local citizens has proven instrumental in the effort to root out anti-Iraqi insurgents in the rural communities south of the Iraqi capital. Since July, Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Iraqi security forces, acting on tips provided by local residents, have captured more than 1,000 suspected militants in the northern Babil and southern Baghdad provinces.

Release #050108g

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