The U.S. occupation authority abandoned the al-Rashid Hotel after it was hit early Sunday by a fatal rocket barrage fired from a launcher disguised as a portable generator. A senior U.S. Army officer was killed and 17 people were wounded in the brazen strike at the core of the U.S. presence in Iraq. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, who was in the hotel but unhurt in the attack, vowed that “we’re not giving up on this job.”Eight to 10 rockets were fired by a timer from the launching platform, which was described by one U.S. commander as resembling a “science project.” The air-to-ground missiles struck the hotel at about 6:10 a.m., smashing holes in the beige cement exterior and sending debris flying through the 14-story luxury hotel. Occupants were roused from bed and fled in their pajamas. Full Story
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