American Forces Press Service
Aug. 16, 2007 - Local, provincial and central government leaders converged in western Nineveh province, Iraq, as 3rd Iraqi Army Division soldiers and emergency workers in the villages of Khahtaniya and Jazeera continued their rescue efforts in the wake of five car-bomb attacks that killed an estimated 275 people and wounded 400 others Aug. 14.
National, provincial and local leaders were greeted with cheers by citizens and relief workers. The group walked the streets assessing damages in both villages and interacting with citizens.
"So far the accounting of casualties has been very speculative," said Army Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. "The villagers and rescue workers are still trying to find those missing, and their efforts, and those of the local, provincial and central government leadership, along with the ISF here, have been tremendous. These people are clearly unified in this effort."
Soldiers from 3rd Iraqi Army Division, in conjunction with U.S. soldiers from 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, and 4th Squadron, 6th Air Cavalry Regiment, are assisting the recovery efforts. The 3rd Iraqi Army Division has provided earth-moving equipment and food and medical supplies to the villages, and Iraqi police are securing the areas, U.S. officials said.
"This is an act of desperation by a group of maniacs who continue to offer only death, destruction and violence to the innocent citizens of Iraq," said Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commander of 25th Infantry Division and Multinational Division North. "The efforts of the 3rd (Iraqi Army) soldiers are heroic as they continue to work tirelessly to save as many citizens as they can, proving their commitment to all of Iraq's people regardless of ethnicity or sect."
Coalition forces have provided 2,880 humanitarian meals, 4,608 bottled waters and vast amounts of medical supplies to include medicines and bandages. Coalition forces also have airlifted 5,760 additional meals, with 3,500 more being coordinated for distribution, and enough medical supplies to support roughly 2,000 casualties.
(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)