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Woodruff seriously injured in Iraq


There's a report just out of Iraq that ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, were seriously injured by a roadside bomb near Taji:

Woodruff and Vogt are undergoing surgery at the U.S. military hospital in Balad. Both men suffered head injuries. Woodruff sustained shrapnel wounds and Vogt was hit by shrapnel in the head and suffered a broken shoulder.

Woodruff, Vogt and their four-man team were traveling in a convoy with Iraqi security forces. They had been embedded with the 4th Infantry Division and were in a mechanized vehicle when the explosive went off. The exposion was followed by small arms fire ….

Woodruff and his crew had been traveling in a U.S. armored humvee, but then transferred into an Iraqi vehicle—which was believed to be a much softer target for attacks ….

[Both Woodruff and Vogt] were wearing body armor, helmets and ballistic glasses. Woodruff and Vogt were taken by medevac to the Green Zone to receive treatment. They were then flown by helicopter to Balad which is about a 20-minute ride from Baghdad ….

After Septermber 11, Bob Woodruff was one of the first television journalists on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Soldier and milblogger John Beard—who spent part of a tour of duty on convoys in Taji—reports:

[Woodruff] was riding in a lead Iraqi military vehicle and in the turret. This is what smells like a set up to me. Very rarely would a gunner not be in the turret of a military gun truck. The insurgency rarely ever targets the lead vehicle. The standard attack mode is hit a convoy near the center and split or disrupt the convoy and follow up with a attack on ground. Very likely someone in the Iraqi unit tipped the Sunni insurgency about the presence of the journalist in the lead vehicle.

Woodruff is undergoing surgery and he and the cameraman are both in serious condition. He probably was sent to Anaconda for surgery although there is a small CSH (combat surgical hospital) at Taji.

Never ever should jounalist be allowed to replace gunners in the turret of vehicles in a military convoy. This is why.

As dangerous as the turret gunner was this was the prized seat for all our American gunners over there. Crazy bastards love to ride the turret gun.

Taji itself is the site of the Iraqi General called "Chemical Ali" home base. There are Americans, Australians and the home of the first Iraqi division at Taji. I spent 6 weeks there in March/April 2005.

Taji is also the town where contractors Dale Stoffel and Joe Wemple were ambushed in December of 2004.

Please join me in praying for Woodruff and Vogt's speedy recovery.

UPDATE: Woodruff and Vogt have been upgraded to stable condition following surgery and are due to be transported to Germany, probably tonight. Michelle Malkin has a list of soldiers killed or injured by IEDs in Iraq in the past week. Please add them and their families to your prayers.

Posted by Rodger on January 29, 2006 at 11:57 AM | Permalink


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