On trail of insurgents, Marines search hospital
Marines from Regimental Combat Team 5 scoured a hospital in Fallujah, Iraq, on Thursday after following the trail of suspected insurgents to the facility, but found nothing, officials said.
According to Marine officers, the unit was conducting a foot patrol in the southwestern part of Fallujah when it was attacked with small-arms fire. Two Marines were wounded in the gunfight, and the other Marines called in a section of tanks to provide support. The wounded were evacuated and the firefight died down.
About 20 minutes later, the Marines heard a broadcast from a local mosque that a local citizen said was an urgent call for blood donations at Fallujah General Hospital. The Marines interpreted that as a sign wounded insurgents were there, and raided the hospital.
Blood was found in two rooms, but no insurgents were captured, Marine Lt. Col. Bryan Salas said.
The incident occurred at the end of a two-day period in which seven servicemembers were killed in western Anbar province.
Four of those killed were soldiers with the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, officials said. One of the Marines killed was assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, and another Marine was assigned to 15th Marine Expeditionary Force.
In a separate incident, a Marine with the Task Force Military Police, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force died Wednesday from “nonhostile causes while operating in Anbar province,” officials said.