Sunni Triangle dangerous ground for U.S. soldiers
Last Updated: Friday, September 19, 2003 | 10:40 PM ET
Political observers believe that the local Sunni population is dissatisfied with U.S. reconstruction efforts and is mounting its own hit-and-run attacks against American forces.
These surprise attacks, often booby traps detonated by remote control, have made U.S. soldiers jumpy, suspicious and quick to shoot, resulting in many civilian deaths.
Since August, U.S. soldiers have killed 10 civilians and this past week they shot at Iraqi police, journalists, a wedding party and a top Italian diplomat.
On Wednesday in Fallujah, a city in the Sunni Triangle, a 14-year-old boy was killed and six people were wounded when U.S. soldiers opened fire on a wedding party. The soldiers thought shots fired by wedding guests were directed at them.
Iraq's retaliation for these deaths has been ferocious. On Thursday, three U.S. soldiers died in an ambush near Tikrit and since May 1, when President Bush declared major fighting at an end, 82 U.S. soldiers have died in combat.
Lt. Fernando Garcia from the 82nd Airborne says those fighting against the Americans have used ingenious ways to plant bombs.
"They place them under the road, under dirt, under rocks in carcasses, anything. Pretty much anything they can think of."
Bombs have been placed inside dead dogs and other animals along the road.
The increased anti-Americanism was summarized by a local, Jasam Hamed: "We don't have any issues with the Americans. The Americans say they came here to get rid of Saddam but they haven't done anything for us. All they do is come with their guns and point them at us."
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