Ordinary Iraqis rarely strike back at the insurgents who terrorize their country. But just before noon on Tuesday, a carpenter named Dhia saw a troop of masked gunmen with grenades coming toward his shop here and decided he had had enough.
As the gunmen emerged from their cars, Dhia and his young relatives shouldered their Kalashnikov rifles and opened fire, the police and witnesses said. In the fierce gun battle that followed, three of the insurgents were killed, and the rest fled just after the police arrived. Two of Dhia's nephews and a bystander were wounded, the police said.
"We attacked them before they attacked us," said Dhia, 35, his face still contorted with rage and excitement, as he stood barefoot outside his home a few hours after the battle, a 9-millimeter pistol in his hand. He would not give his last name.
"We killed three of those who call themselves the mujahedeen," he said. "I am waiting for the rest of them to come, and we will show them."
Go read the whole thing. Hat tip: Rich Lowry at The Corner.
Meanwhile, Iraqi and US forces wiped out 85 terrorists in an attack on a base north of Baghdad:
After a two-hour firefight, Iraqi forces and U.S. helicopters captured an insurgent base north of Baghdad, killing 85 rebels, U.S. and Iraqi military officials said Wednesday.
"A previous safe haven for planning attacks has been removed," a U.S. military official said of Tuesday's battle.