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NYTimes: In Iraq's Murky Battle, Snipers Offer U.S. a Precision Weapon

SAMARRA, Iraq, Dec. 28—The intimate horror of the guerrilla war here in Iraq seems most vivid when seen through the sights of a sniper's rifle.

In an age of satellite-guided bombs dropped at featureless targets from 30,000 feet, Army snipers can see the expression on a man's face when the bullet hits.

"I shot one guy in the head, and his head exploded," said Sgt. Randy Davis, one of about 40 snipers in the Army's new 3,600-soldier Stryker Brigade, from Fort Lewis, Wash. "Usually, though, you just see a dust cloud pop up off their clothes, and see a little blood splatter come out the front."

Working in teams of two or three, Army snipers here in Iraq cloak themselves in the shadows of empty city buildings or burrow into desert sands with camouflage suits, waiting to fell guerrilla gunmen and their leaders with a single shot from as far as half a mile away.

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I've read several books over the years that described (some in graphic detail) the taking of a life by a shot to the head from a distance, but none of those holds a candle to this account from the U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

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