US TROOPS ENGAGED IN ANTI-ISURGENTS BATTLE
USA troops have been called in, ON Sunday 09/05/2010 noon, to help Iraqi forces battle insurgents who attacked an army base in Baghdad, killing 12 people, officials said.
It marks the first such use of US troops in Iraq since the end of US combat operations, declared by USA president Barack Obama five days ago. US forces remaining in Iraq can now participate in operations only at the request of Iraqi authorities.
A USA military spokesman said US forces had provide fired as Iraqis located two of the assailants inside the base. Althoughreports from the scene are still confused, but piecing together events from different sources, the attack seems to have involved at least five bombers.
Iraqi military sources said one of the bombers detonated his explosives at an outer checkpoint leading to the Rusafa military command headquarters, blowing up a minivan. Then, four men – some wearing suicide vests – ran towards the base. Two were reportedly shot dead before they could pass a second checkpoint.
An Iraqi officer said that two further bombers got into the base, taking refuge inside the building, and attacking security forces with hand grenades. The same officer said that US forces were called in to help, and exchanged gunfire with the attackers before Iraqi security forces stormed the building, killing the bombers.
US military spokesman Lt Col Eric Bloom said the Iraqi military had also requested help from helicopters, drones and explosives experts. More than 20 people were wounded in the incident.
The attack is the deadliest in Baghdad since the US formally ended combat operations last month.
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