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FALLUJAH, Iraq — Coalition forces are seeking the source of a roadside bomb that injured a Marine here early Saturday after the Marine’s explosive ordnance disposal team was dispatched to detonate it.

The Marine, of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, was in stable condition after being evacuated to the surgical hospital at nearby Camp Fallujah, company commander Capt. Sean Miller said about seven hours after the incident. The Marine had not been identified by Stars and Stripes’ deadline Saturday.

Miller said the bomb did not appear to be made of military grade material and was a homemade bomb that may have been planted in reprisal for Company K Marines arresting two “high-value targets” in the past few days.

The bomb was found at about 4:30 a.m. on the main route that runs east to west through the Anbar province city. It was within the vicinity of three Iraqi police checkpoints that are supposed to control access into the city, Miller said.

This potential security lapse and the incident come at a time of increased security gains in Fallujah, once the nucleus for extremist activity in Iraq. Marines have credited the security improvements to a local population that has turned against insurgents and to the continued progression of local security forces, among other factors.

While attacks have dropped dramatically in the past six months, locals who have sided with U.S. forces have increasingly come under attack by extremists. Last week, suicide bombers hit a police station in nearby Ramadi, killing at least five police. The next day, a suicide bombing near Fallujah killed six people and targeted a local sheik who was organizing resistance against al-Qaida and other extremists.

Miller informed Col. Faisal Hassan, the Iraqi in charge of the checkpoints, of the incident.

Following the Marines’ practice of letting the Iraqis increasingly take the lead in such matters, Miller said he put Faisal in charge of questioning the police to find out what happened.


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