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Insurgents Launching Fallujah Offensive
Coordinated Bomb, Gun Attack Repelled for Second Time This Week
03/28/2007 11:28 AM ET
Insurgents launched the second coordinated truck bomb/small-arms fire attack this week on a US base in Fallujah.

Early Wednesday morning, mortar fire began to hit the compound just as a car attempted to ram its way through a checkpoint, detonating after encountering defensive fire by Iraqi police and security forces, according to the US military statement.

Small arms fire was exchanged between Iraqi, US forces and the insurgents, and soon afterwards a truck laden with a chlorine bomb also attempted, but failed, to breach the compound.

The US military statement referred to the site of the attack as the "Fallujah Government Center," though Iraqi media is reporting it as a US base that also houses an Iraqi police station.

The US military statement reported 15 Iraqi and US injuries, but no deaths. However, a source told Voices of Iraq that the bombs killed 8 Iraqi policeman.

Reuters asked US spokesman Lieut. Shawn Mercer about the conflicting accounts on casualties, but Mercer was unable to reconcile the discrepancy.

The independent Iraqi news agency Voices of Iraq is reporting that a three-day curfew has been imposed on Fallujah, and that a local source has said that the seven entrances into the city have been sealed:

“U.S. vehicles patrolled Falluja streets and ordered residents to keep indoors via loudspeaker,” the source added.

On Monday, US soldiers repelled an offensive by thirty gunmen and two suicide truck bombers at an outpost near Fallujah.

According to a statement by the US military, "Approximately 30 terrorist fighters engaged the compound with small-arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. The soldiers returned fire with small arms, mortars and artillery."

American firepower also detonated two bomb-laden trucks as they attempted to crash through the gates to get inside the compound at Garma, west of Fallujah.

Nine US soldiers were injured in the attack, and the military estimates they killed 15 insurgent gunmen.


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