Photo Information

AL ASAD, Iraq- Adel Khalil Abdulla wipes the tears off his daughter Nehad's face, May 2. Nehad was injured by shrapnel during a terrorist attack while playing soccer outside of her house on April 25.

Photo by LCpl. Ryan R. Jackson

Iraqi children, policeman injured by insurgent attack recover with aid from American forces

16 May 2007 | Lance Cpl. Ryan R. Jackson

A group of children were enjoying a game of soccer on a sunny Iraq afternoon, when suddenly several explosions changed their lives.  A recent insurgent attack in Bobaly, a small village near Habinyah, left several families devastated.

Four insurgents threw grenades at the group of playing children, April 25, killing two and injuring the rest. 

“The children were outside playing around the house,” said Adel Khalil Abdulla, the father of one injured child through a translator.  “We were in the house and heard the two explosions.  We found the children injured around the house.”

A team of Iraqi policemen quickly responded to the attack in an effort to apprehend the terrorists.  During the pursuit, the insurgents and police exchanged fire leaving two Iraqi policemen and two insurgents dead.  Two of the Iraqi policemen were also wounded.

When American forces arrived on scene, they immediately began applying first aid to the injured children and Iraqi policemen.  By the time they were finished, only four of the children and one policeman needed further treatment.

The injured personnel received treatment at a level two medical facility before being transferred to Al Asad’s level three hospital, according to Army Maj. Melanie Guerrero, a pulmonary critical care physician at the 399th Combat Support Hospital.  Three-year-old Asma, had penetrating abdominal injuries and was operated on to make sure her bowels were not disconnected.  Nehad, Abdulla’s four year old daughter, had shrapnel that went up the right side of her chest, through her diaphragm and liver.  The surgeons at the level two facility operated on her to control the bleeding.  Ahmed, two years old, had shrapnel through the left side of his chest.  The Iraqi policeman had been shot in the left side of the chest and arrived with two tubes in his chest to control the bleeding. 

“The surgeons evaluated the patients upon arrival and decided the three children and policeman were in critical condition and were taken straight to the intensive care unit,” said Gurrero, the director of the intensive care unit.  “We resuscitated them and kept them on ventilator support and gave them blood products.  The next two days they all went to surgery for definitive closure of their wounds.  And all of them were doing well in just 72 hours.”

Out of the families present during the attack, Abdulla was chosen to escort the children because his daughter received the worst injuries.  The other children are his nieces and nephews.

“I want to express my thanks to the Army for helping us to come to the hospital and to all of the staff with no exception for the excellent care and treatment they have offered to our children and the Iraqi people,” said Abdulla.

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