June 15, 2005


Australian Rescued by Iraqi, U.S. Forces (PATRICK QUINN, 6/15/05, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Iraqi and U.S. forces, acting on a tip, raided a dangerous Sunni neighborhood Wednesday and freed an Australian hostage who was hidden beneath a blanket, officials said. Elsewhere, 38 people died in insurgent attacks, including 25 killed when a bomber dressed in Iraqi army uniform blew himself up in a mess hall.

Douglas Wood, a 64-year-old engineer who is a longtime resident of Alamo, Calif., said he was "extremely happy and relieved to be free again," according to a message read by Australia's counterterrorism chief Nick Warner. [...]

The raid took place as part of Operation Lightning - a broader counterinsurgency operation that began in Baghdad on May 29, Warner said. He added there "was specific intelligence and tips that provided a hint at what might be found at that location."

Wood was freed by the Iraqi army's 2nd battalion, 1st Armored Brigade, with assistance by U.S. forces in Ghazaliya - one of the most dangerous Sunni Arab neighborhood of Baghdad, Warner said. He added that "no ransom was paid" despite a request for a "very large" amount of money.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 15, 2005 4:16 PM

Only those of us with French ancestry are allowed to use that particular ethnic slur.

Posted by: ghostcat at June 15, 2005 4:29 PM

To paraphrase myself, my ancestors have plenty of French blood...dripping from their swords...

Posted by: oj at June 15, 2005 4:39 PM

At least it wasn't dripping from their fangs.

Posted by: ghostcat at June 15, 2005 5:09 PM

Anyone hear the report NPR this morning that referred to his "release?" The report really danced around the facts on the ground.

Posted by: Rick T. at June 15, 2005 7:12 PM