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Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at an afternoon news conference that the explosion, which killed 22 people and wounded 69 others, appeared to be a suicide attack. "At this point, it looks like it was an improvised explosive device worn by an attacker," he said, adding, "I assure you that everything possible is being done to get to the bottom of what happened and to take the appropriate steps so that we can prevent future attacks of this nature."
Originally posted by Gazrok
For it to be a bomb would involve quite a bit of work and by an inside suicide bomber (not to mention getting through security). The odds are STRONGLY for it being a rocket attack.
Furthermore, most witness accounts have a rocket sound then the explosion (and by guys who know full well what they sound like).
Gen Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters "an improvised explosive device worn by an attacker" was the most likely cause.
Military officials in Iraq on Wednesday said shrapnel from the explosion included small ball bearings, which are often used in suicide bombings but are not usually part of the shrapnel given off by rockets or mortars.
"At this point, it looks like it was an improvised explosive device worn by an attacker," General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.
The dining hall explosion happened while hundreds of troops were eating lunch yesterday at Forward Operating Base Marez near the northern city of Mosul. Military officials initially cast doubt on the idea that a suicide bomber had been the cause, saying a 122 mm rocket was the likely cause.
Myers declined to say what evidence showed the attack was a suicide bomb rather than a rocket attack.
Military officials in Iraq today said shrapnel from the explosion included small ball bearings, which are often used in suicide bombings but are not usually part of the shrapnel given off by rockets or mortars.
In a horrifying way, the explosion that tore apart the giant tent that served as a dining hall at an American military base near Mosul was neither unusual nor unexpected.
Soldiers at forward operating base Marez, south of Mosul, already had described in emails to their families their unease about the vulnerability of the dining hall - a long, high tent pitched atop a concrete pad.
Easter Sunday was particularly bad, as Adam Szafarn, a 23-year-old specialist with the Maine National Guard, told his family.
"There was just round after round after round," his mother, Sheila Szafarn, said on Tuesday, recalling that her son and other soldiers spent much of that day in concrete bomb shelters.
Her son emailed her after Tuesday's attack to say he was safe, but his mother remembered earlier messages about the dining tent. "He doesn't like going to the dining hall because of the lack of safety," she said. "It's a soft building."
Thanks to a plentiful supply of mortars and rocket-propelled grenades and a lack of US troops to patrol the perimeter of forward bases, Iraqi insurgents are able to strike with relative ease.