huhug TELL ME AGAIN WHY RIGHT WING EXTREMIST MILITARY SHOULD NOT BE LOOKED AT LIKE TERRORISTS!
- From: stfranciswhore@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 11 May 2009 13:57:27 -0700 (PDT)
y ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer Robert H. Reid, Associated
Press Writer – 49 mins ago
BAGHDAD – An American soldier opened fire at a counseling center on a
military base Monday, killing five fellow soldiers before being taken
into custody, the U.S. command and Pentagon officials said.
Although it was unclear what prompted the shooting, the incident draws
attention to the issue of combat stress and morale after six years of
war as the mission of the 130,000-strong force transforms to one of
training and mentoring the Iraqis.
Attacks on fellow soldiers, known as fraggings, were not uncommon
during the Vietnam war but are believed to be rare in Iraq and
A brief U.S. statement said the assailant was taken into custody
following the 2 p.m. shooting at Camp Liberty, a sprawling U.S. base
on the western edge of Baghdad near the city's international airport.
The statement said nobody else was hurt, but a senior defense official
in Washington said three people were wounded. The names of the victims
and shooter were not released.
President Barack Obama, who visited a base adjacent to Camp Liberty
last month, was shocked by the "terrible tragedy," White House
spokesman Robert Gibbs said. Obama planned to discuss the shooting
with Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
At the Pentagon, Gates said that "we're still in the process of
gathering information on exactly what happened."
Pentagon officials said the shooting happened at a stress clinic,
where troops can go for help with the stresses of combat or personal
issues. It was unclear whether the gunman and his victims were workers
at the clinic or were there for counseling. Soldiers routinely carry
weapons on Camp Liberty and other bases, but they are supposed to be
The U.S. military is coping with a growing number of stress cases
among soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan — many of whom are on their
third or fourth combat tours. Some studies suggest that about 15
percent of soldiers returning from Iraq suffer from some sort of
With violence declining, many soldiers face new challenges trying to
shift from fighting a war to supporting the Iraqis — tasks that often
require skills in which they have not been trained.
Adding to the stress, there have been several incidents recently when
men dressed as Iraqi soldiers have opened fire on American troops,
including an attack in the northern city of Mosul on May 2 when two
soldiers and the gunman were killed.
Separately, the military announced Monday that a U.S. soldier was
killed a day earlier when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in
Basra province of southern Baghdad.
The death toll from the shooting at the counseling center was the
highest for U.S. personnel in a single attack since April 10, when a
suicide truck driver killed five American soldiers with a blast near a
police headquarters in Mosul.
"Anytime we lose one of our own, it affects us all," U.S. spokesman
Col. John Robinson said. "Our hearts go out to the families and
friends of all the service members involved in this terrible tragedy."
There have been several previous fragging incidents in the Iraq war.
• Last September, Sgt. Joseph Bozicevich, 39, of Minneapolis was
detained after allegedly killing two members of his unit south of
Baghdad. The case remains under investigation.
• In April 2005, Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar was sentenced to death for
killing two officers in Kuwait just before the U.S.-led invasion of
Iraq in 2003.
• In June 2005, an Army captain and lieutenant were killed when an
anti-personnel mine detonated in the window of their room at the U.S.
base in Tikrit. National Guard Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez was
acquitted in the blast.
• Spc. Chris Rolan, an Army medic, was sentenced to 33 years in prison
in 2007 for killing a fellow soldier after a night of heavy drinking
• In 2008, Army Cpl. Timothy Ayers was sentenced to two years and four
months in prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in
the fatal 2007 shooting of his platoon sergeant in Iraq.
In other violence Monday across Iraq, a car bombing in Kirkuk killed
two people, including a 10-year-old boy, and wounded 10 others, police
Brig. Gen. Sarhat Qadir said.
In Baghdad, a senior Iraqi traffic officer was assassinated on his way
to work. It was the second attack on a high-ranking traffic police
officer in the capital in as many days.
A car cut off Brig. Gen. Abdul-Hussein al-Kadhoumi as he drove through
a central square in the capital and a second vehicle pulled up
alongside and riddled him with bullets, police said, citing witnesses.
Al-Kadhoumi was director of operations for the traffic authority.
The gunmen were armed with pistols equipped with silencers, the police
added on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to
speak to the media.
Incidents involving gunmen armed with sophisticated weapons, including
silencers, have been on the rise since a string of high-profile
robberies in April.
Associated Press Writers Pauline Jelinek in Washington and Ross Bynum
in Savannah, Ga., contributed to
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