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ISF, Marines Capture 44 South of Baghdad

Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq -
U.S. Marines and Iraqi Security Forces captured 44 suspected insurgents south of Baghdad on Wednesday, December 22, as an aggressive counter-insurgency that has netted nearly 600 militants in five months showed no signs of letting up.

Elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit rounded up 21 suspected insurgents in multiple raids near Yusufiyah, while Iraqi police, backed by Marines, detained 13 suspects in a series of raids and vehicle checkpoints near Haswah.

Meanwhile, Marines patrolling near Jurf as Sakhr caught three suspected militants attempting to flee as the Marines approached. A sweep of the area where the men were first spotted turned up two mortar rounds and a fuse. Finally, Marines detained six suspects while supporting an ISF operation north of Mahmudiyah.

Since the 24th MEU assumed operational control of northern Babil and southern Baghdad provinces in July, Marines and the ISF they're supporting have pursued anti-Iraqi forces relentlessly. To date, more than 850 suspected insurgents have been detained. Of those, nearly 600 have been sent to prison.

Release #0412023c

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