U.S. forces discover 13 more bodies in northern Mosul


Friday, November 26th 2004, 9:30 am
By: News On 6


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) Thirteen more bodies were discovered in and around the northern city of Mosul, the U.S. military said Friday, as the number of corpses found in the area in the past week reached 35.

Eleven of the 35 have been identified as members of the Iraqi security forces, who have been targeted by insurgents. The others have not been identified.

U.S. forces patrolling Mosul and nearby Tal Afar on Thursday morning found nine bodies around 8:45 a.m. on the western side of Mosul, said Lt. Col. Paul Hastings, a spokesman with Task Force Olympia. Two more bodies were found in the city later in the day.

In Tal Afar, one Iraqi National Guard soldier was found dead while a second body discovered in a different location was unidentified.

The military late Thursday had reported the discovery of another two bullet-riddled bodies in western Mosul. U.S. and Iraqi troops were hit by mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire as they were retrieving the bodies, according to Lt. Col. Eric Kurilla of the Army's 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment.

The U.S. military spotted at least one team of insurgents firing at them. One Iraqi National Guardsman suffered minor injuries, according to Kurilla.

All the bodies found Thursday have been turned over to the Iraqi authorities, said Hastings.

Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, was the site of a mass insurgent uprising in apparent support of Fallujah guerrillas following the U.S.-led assault on that rebel stronghold on Nov. 8. In the wake of the mass attacks, U.S. and Iraqi forces were sent in to retake parts of the city but insurgents have managed to hit back.

Twenty other bodies have been found in Mosul since last Thursday. At least 10 of the bodies _ nine of them shot execution-style _ belonged to the Iraqi regular army, based at the al-Kisik military base about 31 miles west of Mosul, near Tal Afar. Four of the bodies found were decapitated.

Mosul is located 225 miles northwest of Baghdad.