Standing Up in Iraq

Just two of the many examples that are rolling in, of the Iraqi people stepping up to regain control of their country.

Iraqi civilians attempt to stop truck bomb
    CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Iraqi civilians attempted to stop a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device near Al Hamdanyia, Iraq, as it detonated 500 meters before an observation post manned by Multi-National Division – Baghdad forces April 24.

    Witnesses reported several Iraqi civilians attempting to pull the driver from the vehicle and a white sedan attempting to position itself between the truck, carrying the payload of explosives, and chlorine tanks just before the vehicle exploded.

    The driver of the truck and one Iraqi civilian were killed. Two Iraqi civilians were wounded and one was sickened in the attack.

    Soldiers from Troop E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment responded to the explosion, securing the site and proving medical assistance. No soldiers were injured or killed in the incident.

Insurgents fail to disrupt school opening

By Maj. Kirk Luedeke
4-1 Inf. Public Affairs

   BAGHDAD – The Rashid District Council and 1st Battalion, 6th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi National Police Division conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Atwan School for boys April 24, despite insurgent efforts to prevent the event from occurring.

    Prior to the ceremony, small arms fire had been directed at the school, but after NP and Multinational Division – Baghdad forces returned fire, the gunmen fled. “We will not be stopped by the terrorists,” Ra’ad said to the crowd of boys ranging from elementary school age all the way up through high school. “We will all live in peace together.”

    “Education is the future for Iraq,” said Sabeeh Al-Ka’abi, the director of the Rashid District Council, who presided over the school opening with Col. Ra’ad Eyas Amin, the 1st NP Battalion commander.

    The Atwan School is located in the Mechanix neighborhood of the Rashid District in southern Baghdad. The renovation of the school included improvements to the outer wall, installment of new doors, electrical wiring, fans, plumbing, 100 new desks and 40 blackboards for the 650 students who attend classes there.

    After the event, policemen handed out soccer balls to the students. As those gathered began to disperse, shots rang out once again, as the insurgents returned for one more unsuccessful attempt to disrupt the proceedings.

   “This just goes to show how little regard these criminals have for human life,” said Col. Ricky D. Gibbs, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division commander. “They tried to take what was a celebration of a much improved learning institution and instead put children in harm’s way. They did not succeed, and now everyone can see the kinds of tactics they employ,” he said.

Col. Ra’ad Eyas Amin, commander of the 1st Bn., 6th Bde., 2nd Div. National Police, talks to the children at the Atwan School for boys’ ribbon-cutting ceremony April 24.

Sabeeh Al Ka’abi, the head of the Al Rashid District Council, and Col. Ra’ad Eyas Amin, commander of the 1st Battalion, 6th Brigade, 2nd Division National Police, take in the scene at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Atwan School for boys in Baghdad’s Rashid District.


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