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American Forces Press Service

U.S. Soldier Killed; Dozens of Anti-Iraqi Fighters Captured

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2004 -- A U.S. soldier from the 1st Infantry Division was killed by small-arms fire today near Hawija, Iraq, and 39 members of an "anti- Iraqi forces" cell were captured during a combined U.S.-Iraqi raid near Ar Rawashi, according to Multinational Force Iraq officials.

The U.S. soldier died when his patrol came under attack at about 1 p.m., according to officials in Baghdad. The soldier was evacuated to a military medical facility after the attack and was pronounced dead there. The individual's name is being withheld until next of kin is notified.

U.S. and Iraqi National Guard troops conducted the raid near Ar Rawashi. It resulted in the capture of two known targets, Iman Aziz Ahmen Thahe and Nsaif Lateef Hadi. No further information about the two men was given.

Military officials said the raid was conducted to capture members of an anti- Iraqi forces cell that is suspected of conducting seven improvised-explosive- device attacks against coalition forces since March.

The detained individuals were transported to a Multinational Force Iraq base for questioning. No soldiers were injured during the incident.

Elsewhere a day earlier, an offensive raid by Iraqi forces July 28 resulted in the deaths of 35 insurgents and the capture of 45 more. The large offensive operation by 280 Iraqi National Guard soldiers and police officers began north of As Suwayrah, in the Wassit Province, military officials in Baghdad reported today.

Eight Iraqi security force members were killed and nine wounded in the operation. More than 50 mortar and artillery rounds and other munitions were captured in the operation, according to a Multinational Force Iraq press release.

U.S. ground forces and aircraft provided support for the operation as Iraqi soldiers conducted a cordon and search of 30 buildings and received small-arms fire.

In other news:

Iraqi police may have prevented an attack in Baghdad after finding five rockets and two loaded rocket launchers in a cemetery in central Baghdad today.

U.S. soldiers detained seven individuals, including a member of Muqtada al- Sadr's militia, July 28 for photographing a government building in Najaf. One individual was identified as Ahsan Hadi Toman, a member of Muqtada's militia. Ahsan is suspected of being responsible for kidnappings in the area, according to officials.

Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division transported the individuals to a Multinational Force base for questioning.

In a separate incident, 1st Infantry Division soldiers apprehended another individual following a rocket attack on a Multinational Force base near Tikrit July 28. That person was transferred to a military facility where he tested positive for explosive residue.

Near Baqubah, 1st Infantry Division soldiers thwarted an IED attack July 28 after wounding two anti-Iraqi force members as they attempted to plant the device.

Military officials said the soldiers found four mortars, two artillery rounds and 250 kilograms of TNT buried in cement with trigger material nearby. The IED was defused and destroyed without further incident.

One wounded insurgent was evacuated to a military medical facility for treatment and will be held for questioning. The other escaped, military officials said.

The Central Criminal Court of Iraq July 28 sentenced an Iraqi man to 18 months prison for illegal weapons possession.

Witnesses identified Kamal Muyayyib Salem as being involved in attacks against international forces. Military officials said 1st Infantry Division soldiers captured Salem during a raid conducted on April 5 on a house in Ad Duluiyah.

The raid netted 18 circuit boards and various electronic components including switches, batteries, resistors and clock parts. According to military officials, the components are believed to be of the type used in making improvised explosive devices.

A three-judge panel, upon testimony provided by 1st Infantry Division soldiers and two Iraqi National Guard soldiers, convicted the detainee of possession of "special category weapons."


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