Photo Information

Hit, Al Anbar, Iraq (July 15, 2005)-Marines with Weapons Platoon investigate the area in which a IED exploded outside a mosque. (Official USMC Photo by Corporal Erik P. Brinker)

Photo by Cpl. Erik P. Brinker

3/25 responds to roadside bomb

15 Jul 2005 | Cpl. Ken Melton 2nd Marine Division

Marines with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment and soldiers of the Iraqi Security Forces were attacked by insurgents who detonated a road side bomb outside a mosque here. Sergeant Jonathan J. Batchelor, a squad leader with Weapons platoon, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines was among those involved in the incident. “My squad, along with the ISF, was conducting a presence patrol of the area in late afternoon near our FOB (forward operating base),” said the 27-year-old. “We found and destroyed ordnance earlier in our patrol before continuing on our mission. “When we were approximately 10 minutes from our base we passed a trashcan outside a mosque that exploded as we went by.” Prior to the explosion, the citizens of Hit were outside and a man tending to a flock of sheep had passed by the same spot. The Marines and ISF acted quickly by securing the area. They began to investigate the area while waiting for the quick reaction force to retrieve the wounded. The small crater damaged the outside mosque wall and it was at first thought that the bomb had not been placed on holy grounds. Under further investigation found that was only to be partially true. “We thought that it was remote detonated from a surrounding house, but we couldn’t identify where the power source was,” the Portland, Ore. native said. “We were just about to leave when we saw wires leading to a building on the holy grounds.” Upon this discovery, the Marines asked permission to search the holy grounds, which was denied. However, the situation later led to arrest of the suspected insurgent who was pointed out by a neighbor turned informant. The Marines and ISF were persistent on their patrols even though there were sporadic attacks earlier in the week. The discovery that insurgents used holy grounds as attacks further proved the need for the ISF and coalition presence here. “These Marines here do an excellent on these tough one-of-a-kind missions, but it would be harder if the ISF weren’t here to help,” Batchelor stated. “They are great assets because they can gain a lot more information that we can’t get. “We are glad to have them here with us on effort to help cleanse the country of these insurgents who no qualms about potential harming innocents on or near holy grounds.”