Two Marines, 12 Iraqis die in attacks

Published April 15th, 2006 - 02:39 GMT

Two U.S. Marines died and 22 injured - two of them critically - in western Iraq clashes, the U.S. military said Saturday. A U.S. statement said the casualties were suffered Thursday as a result of "enemy action" in Anbar province.


One Marine was killed "at the scene of the attack," the statement conveyed. Another Marine died at a medical facility in Taqqadum, it added.


Eight of the injured were flown to the main U.S. hospital in Balad. Two were listed in critical condition and six were reported as stable, the statement said.


Meanwhile, at least 12 Iraqis died in a car bombing near a Baghdad restaurant and other attacks.


President Bush on Friday rejected calls from a growing number of retired generals that he replace Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. "He has my full support," said Bush. "Earlier today, I spoke with Don Rumsfeld about ongoing military operations in the global war on terror," the president said. "I reiterated my strong support for his leadership during this historic and challenging time for our nation."


Six retired generals have called for Rumsfeld to resign, accusing him of mishandling the Iraq war, ignoring advice of field commanders and having an arrogant management style, the AP reports.


Rumsfeld has rejected all such calls, while noting that Bush had twice turned down his offers to resign.


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