Friday, November 23, 2007

We can be thankful no one was killed

Yesterday, as Americans in the Green Zone were finding a few minutes respite from the war with a traditional turkey dinner, mortars rained down and the P.A. system crackled to life warning everyone to "duck and cover" and stay away from windows.

Ten mortars were lobbed into the heavily-fortified international zone at about 5:00 p.m. Baghdad time. Fortunately no one was killed or injured.

Maj. Brad Leighton confirmed the area was hit by indirect fire, a term the U.S. military uses for rocket or mortar attacks, but said nobody was killed. Some people were wounded, but they were not coalition forces, he said, declining to specify numbers or nationalities of those injured.

An Iraqi police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information, said the blasts were caused by mortars, but that could not be independently confirmed.

The heavily fortified area, which houses the U.S. Embassy and thousands of American troops and contractors, along with the Iraqi government's headquarters, has frequently been hit by rockets or mortars. But the attacks have tapered off amid a lull of violence in the capital and surrounding areas.

Yesterdays mortar attack was the most serious attack on the fortified Green Zone since July, when it was barraged by at least a dozen mortar shells. In that attack, three people were killed and eighteen wounded.

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