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Thursday, July 6, 2006

Memories of a war-torn country

LINCOLN

U.S. Marines stormed yesterday through Ramadi General Hospital, the largest in western Iraq, taking control of a facility allegedly used by insurgents, the AP reported.

Thomas Risser was there just recently. Risser, a doctor from Lincoln who sent us dispatches about his deployment with the Marines, was profiled on Sunday in Globe West.

Risser wrote in an email today that he visited the hospital in February and even then it was thought to be a "node" for the insurgency. His tour of the facility and inspection of sites where the U.S. was planning to install a medical waste incinerator and a generator, required a lot of security: eight gun trucks, 50 Marines, a bomb disposal team, 3 warplanes and a truckload of Iraqi Army soldiers -- even though the hospital was visible from a U.S. base.

"Denying the insurgency of a haven in the form of the huge complex which is Ramadi General Hospital, which includes a medical school, seems like prudent policy. ... With luck, no facilities of the hospital complex will be damaged, but the insurgency will be evicted from its premises," Risser wrote.

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