RealNews

U.S. Sees Lesson for Insurgents in an Iraq Battle

American commanders vowed Monday that the killing of as many as 54 insurgents in this central Iraqi town would serve as a lesson to those fighting the United States, but Iraqis disputed the death toll and said anger against America would only rise. Accounts of a three-hour battle fought in the alleys and streets of Samarra on Sunday diverged radically, with Iraqis saying only eight people had been killed, several of them civilians. At the morgue, Adnan Sahib Dafar, 52, an ambulance driver, pointed to a dead woman on a steel tray. The woman, Mr. Dafar said, had worked at the city’s big pharmaceutical factory and had walked into the crossfire between American forces and Iraqi guerrillas that began with an attempted ambush of an American military convoy. “Is this woman shooting a rocket-propelled grenade?” he demanded, standing over the body. “Is she fighting?” There was only one other body, that of a gray-bearded old man, in the morgue. Speaking in Brussels at a NATO defense ministers’ meeting, Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, portrayed the fight here, apparently the most deadly since Saddam Hussein was ousted in April, as a grim lesson for America’s foes. Full Story

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