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American Forces Press Service

'Quick Strike' Moves Into Area Where Marines Were Killed

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2005 About 1,000 Iraqi security force soldiers and U.S. Marines from Regimental Combat Team 2 moved into the city of Haqliniyah, Iraq, and the surrounding area today as part of Operation Quick Strike.

The operation began Aug. 3 with Iraqi soldiers and U.S. Marines positioning their units.

Coalition forces confirmed through gathered intelligence that terrorists are operating in these cities and surrounding areas.

Iraqi special operations forces this morning directed an air strike on terrorists hiding in buildings outside of Haqliniyah, about seven kilometers southwest of Haditha, where 20 Marines were killed in two widely reported attacks this week. Marine pilots attacked terrorists who were using these buildings to fire small arms at the Iraqi forces.

Elsewhere during the operation, while searching for evidence of terrorist activity, Iraqi soldiers and U.S. Marines came across two adjacent buildings with wires running between the structures. The wires were connected to numerous 155 mm artillery rounds scattered throughout both buildings. The two buildings were subsequently destroyed.

Tanks also fired on a building in Haqliniyah that terrorists were using to engage coalition forces with small-arms and rocket-propelled-grenade fire.

The intent of Operation Quick Strike is to interdict and disrupt terrorists' presence in the Haditha, Haqliniyah, and Barwanah areas, U.S. officials said. About 800 U.S. Marines and sailors and 180 Iraqi soldiers are participating in the operation.

In other news from Iraq, a 45-year-old Iraqi man died Aug. 4 from multiple organ failure as a result of gunshot injuries suffered while engaging coalition forces.

The detainee was evacuated to the 86th Combat Support Hospital on July 24 and underwent extensive surgery on his chest, arm and abdomen, officials said. He was transferred to the 344th Field Hospital in Baghdad on July 26, where he developed a serious tissue infection. Despite aggressive antibiotic therapy, the infection spread to the blood and eventually resulted in multi-organ failure and death, officials said.

The remains will be transferred to the family upon completion of an autopsy. This is standing procedure for all detainees who die while in custody of Multinational Force Iraq, officials said.

Also on Aug. 4, Iraqi security forces supported by coalition forces conducted a joint search for known terrorists in the Nasr area, just northwest of Nasiriyah. Iraqi and coalition forces detained 17 suspects and confiscated nine vehicles during the operation.

Elsewhere, Iraqi army soldiers detained three suspected terrorists after targeted searches in Mosul today. No injuries or damages were reported during the operations.

Terrorists attacked Iraqi police officers eating lunch near the market in Old Baqubah on Aug. 4 with small-arms fire. The officers returned fire and pursued their attackers, eventually catching two of them. The detainees were transported to a nearby jail for questioning.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq news releases.)

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