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American Forces Press Service

Iraqi, U.S. Forces Respond to Car Bomb Attack

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2005 Military officials in Iraq have provided more details concerning the response to today's two suicide-bomb attacks in central Baghdad.

Initial reports indicated that at least three Iraqi civilians were killed and 43 others were wounded when terrorists detonated two car bombs near the Al-Hamra Hotel on the Karradah peninsula. There were no Task Force Baghdad casualties, officials said.

The explosions, coming within seconds of each other, damaged an apartment complex near the hotel. Portions of the building collapsed, trapping residents in the rubble. Other buildings in the area and at least 30 vehicles were also damaged.

The first car reportedly was a 16-passenger van that carried about 400 pounds of explosives; the second vehicle, a water truck, carried about 1,000 pounds of explosives.

Iraqi police and soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 5th Iraqi Army Brigade, secured the site and took charge of the rescue operation as Iraqi firefighters put out the fires caused by the blasts. U.S. soldiers from 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, also responded to the site, along with troops from the 92nd Engineer Battalion and the 36th Engineer Group, to help in rescue efforts of the trapped Iraqi civilians. Medics from 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, gave immediate first aid to the victims and helped evacuate the more seriously wounded to hospitals.

"The diligence of the local rescue forces was excellent, as they immediately took the lead in response and recovery efforts," said Capt. Daniel Green, 4/64's surgeon. "When you look out here, the ratio of responders is pretty heavily weighted in favor of Iraqis vs. U.S. forces." Local government officials also were on the scene, assessing the damage and planning for the repair of water, sewage and electric lines damaged in the attack.

"Our first response is to take care of the immediate needs of our residents - food, water and humanitarian aid," said Dr. Mohammed al-Rubaie, Karradah District Council chairman. "We are here to clean up and do whatever we can for our residents."

(From a Task Force Baghdad news release.)

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