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Guard unit with local ties comes under fire

By Staff
TOM GORDON Special to The Standard
Four members of Alabama National Guard units were injured by a grenade explosion while trying to control a disturbance in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
Two of the soldiers' injuries were serious enough to require their evacuation after the attack last week to a U.S. military hospital in Germany, but they are expected to recover.
The wounded soldiers were Sgt. Douglas E. Robinson, 34, of Shorter; Spc. Donald Grant, 40, of Columbus, Ga.; Sgt. Larry Gill, 43, of Semmes, and Staff Sgt. Richard Barnes, 42, of Gautier, Miss.
Robinson and Grant are with the 214th Military Police Company, which is based in Alexander City and Tuskegee.
Barnes and Gill are with the 1165th MP Company out of Fairhope and Brewton; they were subsequently hospitalized in Germany.
The nature of the soldiers' wounds and the circumstances that led to the wounds were not clear Wednesday. Guard officials said there was a disturbance at a mosque in southern Baghdad at about 10 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7 and the Alabama Guard members were among the American soldiers who were trying to restore order.
At some point, someone in the crowd of civilians at the mosque tossed a grenade, and the resulting explosion injured the Alabama Guardsmen as well some members of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.
About 2,200 Alabama National Guard soldiers are serving in Iraq and Kuwait.