14 from Ohio-Based Marine Battalion Killed in Iraq
MADELEINE BRAND, host:
In western Iraq today, 14 US Marines were killed by a roadside bomb. The tragedy was compounded further with the news that the troops were members of the same battalion that lost six Marines in Iraq just two days ago. A Marine Corps spokesman says the Marines killed this week belonged to the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines Unit, based in Brook Park, Ohio. That's a suburb of Cleveland. Brigadier General Carter Ham announced today's deaths at the Pentagon.
Brigadier General CARTER HAM: This morning at about 0630 local time in Iraq, a mounted US Marine element operation near Hadithah was attacked by an explosive device. Initial reports are that 15 personnel were killed in the attack: 14 United States Marines and one interpreter.
BRAND: The 14 Marines and the interpreter died when their troop carrier struck a gigantic roadside bomb. In recent months, insurgents have been exploding larger and more sophisticated bombs. At the Pentagon, General Ham provided few details of the attack.
Brig. Gen. HAM: The report this morning only is that it was an explosive device, so not yet sure of whether it was a mine or whether it was command detonated. We just don't know those details yet.
BRAND: It was one of the deadliest single attacks on American troops since the war in Iraq began more than two years ago. The six other Marines killed on Monday were on sniper duty northwest of Baghdad. Again here's General Ham.
Brig. Gen. HAM: This is a very lethal and, unfortunately, adaptive enemy that we are faced with inside Iraq.
BRAND: Today, in Brook Park, Ohio, a bouquet of red roses was placed at the gate of the Marine headquarters, an old brick schoolhouse. Several businesses tied red, white, and blue ribbons on their doors and had American flags hanging in their windows.