Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The sound of boots clattering up helicopter ramps at dawn kicked off a series of raids Wednesday by U.S. Marines, who are using everything from concrete barriers to no-parking signs to help secure Iraq's elections in 10 days. Marines are working side by side with Iraqi SWAT teams-in-training and conferring with sheiks and police chiefs. They are clearing out health clinics to make room for potential casualties - and prison cells for captured insurgents. (AP)

5 Car Bombs Rock Baghdad Before Elections. Insurgents unleashed a wave of car bombings across the capital Wednesday, killing about a dozen people, despite stepped-up U.S. and Iraqi measures to protect this month's elections. North of Baghdad, insurgents killed a British security officer and kidnapped a Japanese engineer, officials said. Gunmen fired on the Baghdad office of a major Kurdish party and two senior officials escaped assassination in separate attacks in the north. (AP)

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