A U.S. combat post was attacked by two suicide lorry bombs and about 30 gunmen west of Baghdad on Monday, but American soldiers succeeded in repelling them and killed 15, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.
The attack on the combat post in the Garma area, near Falluja, was unusual given that insurgents do not typically launch such large-scale military assaults. Eight U.S. soldiers were wounded in the fighting.
The U.S. military said soldiers opened fire on two trucks loaded with explosives that tried to smash their way into the compound, detonating both of them.
“Approximately 30 terrorist fighters engaged the compound with small-arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. The soldiers returned fire with small arms, mortars and artillery,” the military said in a statement.
“Initial estimates indicate as many as 15 terrorists were killed,” it said, blaming the attack on al Qaeda militants.
Falluja is a volatile city in the western Anbar province, heartland of the Sunni Arab insurgency. U.S. President George Bush is sending thousands of additional troops there to boost efforts to crush the unrelenting insurgency.