Letter from Baghdad: High Noon On Haifa Street

How insurgents turned a neighborhood into a battle zone in which U.S. troops have to fight for their lives

The booby-trapped artillery shell detonated shortly before midnight. In the roar and smoke, bodies ripped apart. Suddenly the nine-man foot patrol from Task Force 1/9, composed of infantrymen and cavalry troopers, was down to five, alone, in a darkened Baghdad alley and cut off from help. One soldier was dead. Three others lay bleeding but still alive as fire from AK-47s rained down on the scrambling troopers. Company commander Captain Thomas Foley hollered orders above the din, desperately trying to stave off the attack while getting some kind of aid to his wounded men. One had lost a leg in the...

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