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Iraqi police with the Karmah police station investigate a suicide attack and search for suspects on a local highway in Fallujah, Iraq, Dec. 28. Iraqi Security Forces were quick to respond to the situation and provided casualty assistance to injured personnel.

Photo by Cpl. Chris T. Mann

Iraqi police respond to Fallujah attack

29 Dec 2008 | Cpl. Chris T. Mann 1st Marine Division

Iraqi Police in Karmah demonstrated their ability to take charge of a crime scene after a suicide bomber attacked citizens and policemen on a local highway in Fallujah, Iraq, Dec. 28.

Maj. Yessien, assistant police commander for the Karmah police station, said policemen were quick to provide casualty evacuation and security at the scene. The policemen stopped all traffic on the highway and set up a cordon while they searched the area for additional suspects and explosive devices.

The attacker was driving a compact car with an unknown amount of explosives inside the vehicle and detonated the bomb beside police vehicles located near an entry control point.

“We have determined that the vehicle being driven was reported stolen, and we are investigating what happened here,” said Yessien. “We have also determined that the attacker was a known terrorist. If there are others behind these attacks, we will catch them.”

Marines with Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, arrived to provide assistance after police had initially cleared the scene.

“Overall, the Iraqi police were able to evacuate and secure the scene, and bring in the necessary equipment to clean up the road within an hour,” said 1st Lt. William R. VanCise, the platoon commander for Scout Sniper Platoon, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, RCT-1. “For the most part they had the scene under control, cleaned up, and were ready to move on by the time we arrived.”

Yessien said the attacker was possibly targeting a police patrol when he steered his vehicle in their general direction.

Officials have not yet determined a motive behind the attack and are calling it an isolated incident. Iraqi Security Forces are continuing the investigation.

 “I think the overall gist is that the Iraqis are capable of conducting their own (operations), and from here on out we’re in the supporting role and will be utilized when they call for us or if the situation seems overwhelming,” said VanCise.

1st Marine Division