Abizaid Escapes Unharmed from Fallujah Attack
The poor security situation in the Sunni heartland was eloquently underlined Thursday when US military commander in Iraq, Gen. John Abizaid, visited Fallujah, which has been a hotbed of anti-American violence and demonstrations. His party came under rocket propelled grenade fire, but the US incurred no casualties. The NPR reporter said that two of the guerrillas were thought to have holed up in a mosque, and the US military wanted local Iraqi police to go in after them. (Avoiding a US assault on a mosque in Fallujah was good thinking). But he said it took an hour of cajoling to convince the Iraqi police to enter the mosque. They arrested two unarmed men inside. The lack of responsiveness of the Fallujah police is an icon of the difficulties the US faces in standing up Iraqi security forces that could do the job. And, of course, the likelihood is that someone in the Fallujah police who knew of Abizaid’s visit had tipped the guerrillas off.
In another incident, a roadside bomb killed on US soldier and wounded two others in the Abu Ghuraib section of Baghdad.