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American Forces Press Service

Soldiers Capture Insurgents, Weapons as Crackdown Continues

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2005 -- With Iraq's national assembly election less than three weeks away, Multinational Force Iraq and Iraqi security forces continue to kill and capture insurgents and get weapons off the streets.

Task Force Danger and Iraqi soldiers detained three suspects today during a joint raid near Tuz, and soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, found a weapons cache while patrolling near Samarra. The cache consisted of two 115 mm tank rounds, 47 122 mm artillery rounds, five 152 mm rounds, seven unknown types of mortars, and two boxes of ammunition.

A second cache reported later contained three 120 mm tank rounds, four 120 mm illumination rounds, five unknown rockets, 15 120 mm high-explosive mortars, and various artillery and mortar propellant charges.

The caches were partially destroyed in place, and the remainder of the munitions was taken to a military holding facility for later destruction.

Yet another weapons cache was found today at a residence of suspected insurgents in the town of Lutayfiyah during a cordon-and-search operation by Marines attached to Task Force Baghdad. Members of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, found a variety of munitions and explosives, including two rocket-propelled-grenade launchers, five 13 mm artillery rounds, seven 122 mm rounds, five quarter sticks of TNT, and electrical switches, detonation cord and blasting caps. Forces encountered no armed resistance during the operation.

Insurgents used a car bomb to attack an Iraqi National Guard patrol today, killing two soldiers and injuring another two in southeast Mosul. The injured soldiers were taken to a local hospital.

On Jan. 11, a soldier attached to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force was killed in action while conducting security and stability operations in the Anbar province.

Multinational and Iraqi National Guard soldiers were attacked while on a Jan. 11 mission to deliver heaters and supplies to a school in the northern Iraqi city of Monsur. Soldiers of the 106th ING Battalion and the U.S. 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, were hit by a roadside bomb, and then were shot at by insurgents firing from the Saddam Mosque.

Three ING soldiers were killed and six others were wounded in the attack. The driver of the truck hit by the roadside bomb was killed, and, according to a civilian reporter at the scene, was the father of 10. The wounded were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Firing from the mosque is a violation of the laws of war, officials said. Iraqi authorities have stated that insurgents using a religious center as their headquarters or as a place to attack Iraqi security forces or multinational forces will not be safe.

Multinational Force Iraq and Iraqi security forces discovered and cleared 13 improvised explosive devices and cleared 13 weapons caches Jan. 11. MNFI also conducted five cordon-and-search operations and four raids on suspected insurgent facilities and detained 35 suspects.

An early-morning Jan. 11 raid by Task Force Baghdad soldiers netted six people suspected of involvement in the assassination of the governor of Baghdad province. A military spokesman said the raid culminated from tips from local sources.

"The information was pretty good," said Maj. Web Wright, public affairs officer for the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team. "We were able to act on this intelligence and detain these guys without firing a shot."

Members of Company B, 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, detained four suspects during the initial raid in the Hurriyah district of western Baghdad. Forty minutes later, the unit reported the house cleared, and two other suspects were found and detained.

Wright said tips from local residents are becoming more commonplace in Baghdad. "The citizens of Baghdad are really starting to turn over good information that we can put to use," Wright said. "They are obviously fed up with the violence that the terrorists are causing." The suspects remain in custody for questioning.

Soldiers from 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), were able to defuse a roadside bomb after an Iraqi boy provided them with information about it in northern Iraq on Jan. 10. Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, were on patrol in Mosul when an Iraqi child informed them of a roadside bomb in the area. The tip led to the diffusion and destruction of the bomb. No injuries were reported, and the child was compensated for his service, officials said.

Also on Jan. 11, soldiers from 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), killed an insurgent and detained four others in northern Iraq. Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 325th Parachute Infantry Regiment, were patrolling southern Mosul when two insurgents attacked them with small-arms fire. The soldiers killed one attacker and wounded the other, but suffered no injuries themselves. The injured insurgent was taken to a local hospital for treatment, after which he was detained.

The same day, soldiers from the same unit patrolling northwest of Mosul found a cache of weapons, munitions and bomb-making equipment. The cache included 12 rifles, multiple assorted bomb fuses, wires and detonators, three RPG launchers, 11 mortar rounds, 17 assorted grenades, and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition.

Task Force Danger soldiers detained a wanted individual during a raid near Dujayl the night of Jan. 11. The patrol confiscated two AK-47 assault rifles, a revolver, a rifle and several magazines.

Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division seized a mortar sight, a gas mask and two AK-47 rifles and detained one person Jan. 11 in Samarra.

Elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit captured six suspected insurgents south of Baghdad on Jan. 11. Marines from 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, rounded up four suspects in multiple operations near Musayyib, while soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division's 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, captured two more during a raid near Haswah. Marines acting on a tip from a local citizen also found nine anti-tank missiles near Musayyib.

Members of the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd "Commando" Brigade Combat Team conducted a raid in western Baghdad Jan. 11, capturing a suspected improvised explosive device and car-bomb maker. Soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division's 91st Engineer Battalion, currently attached to the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Brigade, conducted the raid.

The suspect possessed several illegal weapons at the time of detention, officials said, and was detained for further questioning. Wright, the brigade spokesman said the operation was successful thanks to the tip from local residents. "We have been tracking this individual for some time now, gathering information from local sources," Wright said. "We ask the citizens of Baghdad to continue to turn in these criminals."

In two raids, elements of the same team detained two suspected insurgent cell leaders in western Baghdad Jan. 11. The first cell leader is believed to be responsible for financing terrorist activities and weapons dealing. The second is believed to be responsible for leading mortar attacks against the interim Iraqi government and multinational forces. The two are being held for questioning.

"We will continue to hunt down these murderers and criminals," said Wright. "We will not let up the pressure. The Iraqi people deserve the right to choose their government, and we will continue to work with local leaders and the Iraqi security forces to bring these terrorists to justice."

Marines from the 1st Marine Division of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force detained 10 suspected insurgents and seized several weapons caches throughout Anbar province Jan. 10-11. Among other weapons and munitions, the caches contained dozens of rockets and mortar rounds.

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