View Full Version : Five Marines Killed in Iraq, Military Says

01-08-06, 06:58 AM
Five Marines Killed in Iraq, Military Says
Sunday, January 8, 2006 4:52 AM PST
Elko Daily

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Five U.S. Marines were killed by small arms fire and roadside bombs this weekend, the military said Sunday.

Three Marines were killed Sunday by small arms attacks in Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, the military said.

On Saturday, two Marines were killed by roadside bombs in separate incidents, the military said. One blast occurred about 50 miles west of Baghdad, while the other happened about 35 miles north of the capital.

Elsewhere, a French engineer taken hostage last month was pushed out of a car near a checkpoint in a Baghdad suburb, apparently freed by nervous captors who then fled, police said.

Bernard Planche was found Saturday night near the checkpoint in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib suburb, said Maj. Falah al-Mohammadawi.

France's presidential Elysee Palace said Planche would return to his home country.

French President Jacques Chirac "is delighted by the happy outcome," the palace said. He personally told Planche's daughter, Isabelle, and his brother, Gilles.

Planche, who worked for a non-governmental organization called AACCESS, was kidnapped Dec. 5 on his way to work at a Baghdad water plant. Militants later released a video of him sitting between two armed men.

Arab news channel Al-Arabiya, which broadcast an excerpt of the video, said the militants denounced the "illegal French presence" in Iraq and demanded the withdrawal of French troops from the country. France has not sent forces to Iraq.

The name of a previously unknown militant group, called "Monitoring For Iraq," was shown in the corner of the video.

Planche's daughter and brother last month had pleaded for his release on Al-Arabiya.

"He came to help the reconstruction for the Iraqi people. We have faith and are sure that you won't hurt him," his daughter Isabelle said.

Insurgents have kidnapped more than 250 foreigners in the past two years, aiming to force U.S.-led troops to leave Iraq or prevent Arab nations from strengthening their ties with the Baghdad government.

Some of the hostages have been killed, while others were released after ransoms were paid or freed when Muslim clerics called the armed groups to release them.

On Dec. 8, the Islamic Army in Iraq claimed to have killed U.S. electrician Ronald Schulz. Other groups are holding four Christian humanitarian workers _ two Canadians, a Briton and an American.

No news has emerged about the fate of those men since a group claiming responsibility for their capture imposed a Dec. 10 deadline for their killings. The previously unknown Swords of Righteousness Brigade had threatened to kill the group if the United States and Britain did not release all detainees in Iraq.

Briton Norman Kember, 74, Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, and American Tom Fox, 54, were abducted in Baghdad on Nov. 26. All four were working in Iraq with Christian Peacemaker Teams, a Canadian-based organization that has investigated allegations of abuse against Iraqi prisoners.

A service of the Associated Press(AP)