- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 4, 2003

FALLUJAH, Iraq — Attackers lobbed two grenades into a U.S. Army compound yesterday, wounding seven soldiers just hours after the Americans had fired on Iraqi protesters in the street outside, a U.S. intelligence officer reported.The incident — the latest in a series of clashes and deadly shootings involving U.S. troops in Fallujah — came as a former head of the State Department’s counterterrorism office prepared to become civilian administrator in Iraq and oversee the country’s transition to democratic rule.None of the injuries to soldiers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fallujah was life-threatening, Capt. Frank Rosenblatt said.The troops inside the walled compound — a former police station — opened fire on men fleeing the area, but no one was captured or believed to have been hit, said Capt. Rosenblatt, whose 82nd Airborne Division is handing over control of Fallujah to the Armored Cavalry. Officers said the attackers’ identities were not known.The attack, at 1 a.m. yesterday, came after soldiers in the compound and in a passing Army convoy opened fire Wednesday on anti-American demonstrators massed outside. Local hospital officials said two Iraqis were killed and 18 wounded.American officers said that barrage was provoked when someone fired on the convoy from the crowd.Wednesday’s march was to protest earlier bloodshed Monday night, when 16 demonstrators and bystanders were killed and more than 50 wounded, according to hospital counts. In that clash, an 82nd Airborne company, whose members said they were being shot at, fired on a protest outside a school occupied by U.S. soldiers.In Baghdad yesterday, the commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq urged residents in a radio broadcast to help move the country forward by going back to work, stopping looting and cooperating to improve postwar security.Lt. Gen. David McKiernan made the statement through Information Radio, the U.S.-led coalition’s station, which is being broadcast across Iraq.”I call for putting an end to all acts of sabotage and criminal acts, including plundering, looting and attacking coalition forces,” he said in remarks read by an announcer in Arabic.Information Radio has been running frequent announcements exhorting Iraqis to accept U.S. forces, and warning any foreign fighters in Iraq to leave or face arrest.A senior U.S. official confirmed late Wednesday that Paul Bremer will take over an Iraq transition team that includes retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner and Zalmay Khalilzad, the special White House envoy in the Persian Gulf region.Mr. Bremer left the State Department, where he was an assistant to former secretaries William P. Rogers and Henry Kissinger, to join Kissinger Associates, a consulting firm. He now serves as chairman and chief executive of Marsh Crisis Consulting.During a 23-year State Department career, Mr. Bremer served as special assistant or executive assistant to six secretaries of state. In 1999, he was appointed chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert. Newsweek first reported Mr. Bremer’s selection on its Web site Wednesday.In Fallujah yesterday, some residents said they had heard relatives of victims vow to avenge Wednesday’s shootings — and many in the city have declared they want the American troops to leave.Brig. Gen. Dan Hahn, the Army V Corps chief of staff, said U.S. forces had solid intelligence that the “bad actors” in Fallujah were members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party who were using crowds as cover during demonstrations.”The people in the city want to get rid of this problem. We have people in the city coming up to tell us who the bad actors are,” Gen. Hahn said. “In every instance, our soldiers have shown discipline and restraint.”In the future, he said, tear gas and other riot-control measures might be used to quash violent demonstrations.Fallujah, a city of 200,000 people located 30 miles west of Baghdad, benefited from Saddam’s regime more than most Iraqi towns.The regime built chemical and other factories that generated jobs for Fallujah’s workers and wealth for its businessmen. Many of its young men joined elite regime forces such as the Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard.U.S. military officials met with local religious and clan leaders Wednesday to discuss the security situation.”We asked the commanding officers for an investigation and for compensation for the families of the dead and injured,” said Taha Bedaiwi al-Alwani, the new, U.S.-recognized mayor of Fallujah.Residents told reporters they were troubled by soldiers looking at Fallujah women, and some believed the Americans’ goggles or binoculars could see through curtains or clothing.

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