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Marines come under fire from machine guns

BAGHDAD, Iraq—Shortly before dusk Saturday, some men protected by sandbags in a house 200 yards away on the opposite bank of the Tigris River opened fire on a Marine position near the Palestine Hotel in downtown Baghdad.

Dozens of Marines from the 3rd Battalion of the 4th Marine Regiment scrambled behind an earthen embankment and answered with M16 rifles, light machine guns and at least one .50 caliber heavy machine gun mounted atop an armored personnel carrier.

The firefight lasted about 20 minutes.

"One of our medics took shrapnel in the leg," said Cpl. Fred Mahan, 21, of Royse City, Texas. That was the only U.S. casualty.

Several Marines said they'd seen men on the riverbank firing at them.

"They're dead now," said Sgt. Daniel Finn.

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The KRT photos of the firefight are:

USIRAQ-FIREFIGHT 1, a Marine running.

BAGHDAD—Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, return fire during a gun battle across the Tigris River near the Palestine Hotel in downtown Baghdad on Saturday, April 12, 2003.

USIRAQ-FIREFIGHT 2, three Marines shooting, one with cigarette in mouth.

BAGHDAD—U.S. Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, take fire and return shots during a gun battle across the Tigris River near the Palestine Hotel in downtown Baghdad on Saturday, April 12, 2003.

USIRAQ-FIREFIGHT 3, Marine looking over other Marine's shoulder.

BAGHDAD—Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, look for firing positions and cover during a gun battle across the Tigris River near the Palestine Hotel in downtown Baghdad on Saturday, April 12, 2003.

USIRAQ-FIREFIGHT 4, Marines with guns smoking.

BAGHDAD—Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, return fire during a gun battle across the Tigris River near the Palestine Hotel in downtown Baghdad on Saturday, April 12, 2003.

USIRAQ-FIREFIGHT 5, Marine yelling, very expressive.

BAGHDAD—A Marine from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, yells to other soldiers while looking for cover during a gun battle across the Tigris River near the Palestine Hotel in downtown Baghdad on Saturday, April 12, 2003.

USIRAQ-FIREFIGHT 6, Marines with yellow flowers.

BAGHDAD—A Marine from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, yells to other soldiers while looking for cover during a gun battle across the Tigris River near the Palestine Hotel in downtown Baghdad on Saturday, April 12, 2003.

USIRAQ-FIREFIGHT 7 & 8, Marines silhouetted as they run for cover.

BAGHDAD—A Marine from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, runs for cover after shots were fired at his unit from across the Tigris River near the Palestine Hotel in downtown Baghdad on Saturday, April 12, 2003.

USIRAQ-FIREFIGHT 9.

BAGHDAD—A Marine from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, finds cover in the brush after shots were fired at him from across the Tigris River near the Palestine Hotel in downtown Baghdad on Saturday, April 12, 2003.

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(c) 2003, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Iraq

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