Expatica news

Head of security in Iraq wounded in shooting

22 January 2004

MADRID – The head of security in the Spanish-led brigade deployed in Iraq was seriously wounded on Thursday while taking part in a joint anti-terrorist operation with the Iraqi police, officials said.

A Defence Ministry official said the officer, Commander Gonzalo Pérez García, was in extremely serious condition with gunshot wounds in the head and was being treated at a US military hospital facility near Baghdad.

Perez Garcia is one of two officers in Spain’s militarised rural police force, the Civil Guard, attached as security specialists to the “Plus Ultra” brigade which is made up of 1,300 Spanish troops and other soldiers from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

The officer was wounded during an overnight raid in the village of Hamsa, some 40km south of Diwaniya, where the Plus Ultra brigade is based, the Minstry said in a statement.

Members of the brigade’s Tactical Group were supporting Iraqi police in a night raid on the home of a suspected terrorist leader, which proved to be deserted.

Perez and two Iraqi policemen remained behind to finish the search after the other personnel left.

A short time later, a car pulled up in front of the building only to leave at speed when its occupants saw the house was occupied.

The Spaniard and the two Iraqis immediately set off in pursuit and the terror suspects opened fire, wounding Perez and one of the two Iraqis as they were closing in on the suspects, the ministry said.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news