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article imageGunmen who killed 5 GIs were disguised

By Carolyn E. Price     Jan 21, 2007 in World
AN UPDATE to an earlier story.
This is an update on a recent story.
There are reports that the gunmen who killed five US soldiers in the holy city of Karbala yesterday were wearing military uniforms and were driving SUV's, the vehicle of choice that is used by visiting dignitaries. This is a new and highly dangerous tactic faced by US forces in which the enemy is attempting to impersonate Americans.
A local Iraqi governor said the gunmen stormed into the provincial headquarters building during a U.S.-Iraqi meeting to discuss security measures that are planned for the Shiite Ashoura festival
Provincial Gov. Akeel al-Khazaali said the SUVs were able to get through a checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, 50 miles south of Baghdad, because police assumed it was a diplomatic convoy and informed headquarters that it was coming.
"The group used percussion bombs and broke into the building, killed five Americans and kidnapped two others, then fled," the governor said, adding that Iraqi troops later found one of the SUVs with three bodies dressed in military uniforms.
U.S. military report that five U.S. soldiers were killed and three were wounded while fending off the attack. However, they denied any U.S. troops had been kidnapped.
Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a military spokesman, said all American forces "were accounted for after the action."
An official U.S. military statement outlines the Karbala attack reported that "an illegally armed militia group" attacked the provincial headquarters building with grenades, small arms and "indirect fire". Indirect fire usually refers to mortars or rockets.
"A meeting was taking place at the time of the attack to ensure the security of Shiite pilgrims participating in the Ashoura commemorations," said a statement from Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, deputy commander of the Multi-National Division-Baghdad.
Thousands of Shiite pilgrims are said to be flocking to Karbala to celebrate the 10-day Ashoura festival. This festival commemorates the death of one of Shiite Islam's most sacred saints, Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
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