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Zaytun Unit Put On Alert After Four Shells Explode

Posted May. 31, 2005 06:40,   


The Zaytun unit stationed in Iraq faced its first local resistance after being dispatched in September 2004.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) revealed on May 30 that four shells exploded at a place located 200 to 500 meters away from the Zaytun troop site at Irbil, Northern Iraq, at 11:00 p.m. May 29 (local time), but resulted in no casualties among troops or civilians.

According to the JCS, two rocket shells landed on a wheat field located 500 meters south of the base at around 11:00 p.m., with two more high-angle shells dropping five minutes later, 200 meters away, resulting in a fire.

JCS presumes that local terrorists fired from a truck loaded with the rocket shells positioned at a boundary four to five kilometers away from the Zaytun unit and fled toward the direction of Mosul.

Immediately after the incident, the Zaytun unit took shelter in an underground dugout and raised its terror alert level. Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Hwang Eui-don held emergency evaluation meetings with Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) officials and proceeded to inspect the situation.

The JCS announced that U.S. military helicopters were also mobilized and patrolled the scene.

Authorities of the JCS said, “The Zaytun Unit and KRG are planning on a joint investigation to find out the exact source of the shells judging from the explosion point and estimated point of fire,” and added, “We will reinforce surveillance at the military base checkpoint and have boosted patrols in nearby danger areas.”

The Zaytun unit raised its alert level from amber to red after a suicide bomb attack occurred in Irbil earlier this month.

There are four stages of alert: common (green), tension (amber), threat (red), and emergency (black), which increase in level each time the terror threat increases.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com