<!--:es-->Marines thwart insurgents’ attempt to destroy new Iraqi school for girls<!--:-->

Marines thwart insurgents’ attempt to destroy new Iraqi school for girls

KARABILAH, Iraq – Thanks to the work of Marines and Iraqi Security Forces, 800 elementary-aged girls will now have a school to attend this fall.

Marines from 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment unveiled a brand-new grade school in this city of about 30,000 on the Iraq-Syria border in western Al Anbar Province July 7, 2006.

About one week before its opening, insurgents planted an improvised explosive device inside the school which would have leveled a good portion of the building, destroying nearly three months of work by Marines and locals, said Gunnery Sgt. Joseph S. Mallicoat, team leader for the civil affairs team here.

“The bomb had the potential of taking down both wings of the building and the school would have been unable to open by September,” said Capt. Rick Bernier, commanding officer of Company C – the Marines responsible for providing security alongside Iraqis in this city.

The Marines discovered the bomb and immediately secured the building leaving Iraqi Security Forces to provide 24-hour security to prevent further attacks.

By Cpl. Antonio Rosas

Combat Correspondent

1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment