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Marines Capture Two, Uncover Weapons Cache South of Baghdad

Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq
-- Elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit captured two suspected militants and uncovered a weapons stockpile south of Baghdad January 21, the third day of the latest anti-insurgent operation in northern Babil Province.

Intelligence gleaned from a January 19 raid in the south-central town of Jabella led Marines to a site south of nearby Haswah. A search of the area turned up the following:

(19) 130 mm mortar rounds

(11) 125 mm mortar rounds

(42) 82 mm mortar rounds

(4) 60 mm mortar rounds

(3) rocket-propelled grenade rounds

(2) 120 mm mortar base plates

(1) complete 60 mm mortar system

(2) 82 mm mortar tubes

(36) 125 mm armor-piercing rounds

(200) 7.62 mm rounds

(86) cans of 25 mm anti-aircraft-artillery ammunition

(1) Kevlar vest

(99) fuses

(43) bundles of propellant

(1,000) feet of detonation cord

Elsewhere in the province, Marines detained an Iraqi police officer suspected of aiding insurgents involved in ambushing Iraqi and U.S. forces with roadside bombs. The officer is being detained for questioning.

On January 18th, Iraqi and Marine forces launched Operation Checkmate, a fresh offensive aimed at disrupting insurgent activity ahead of the January 30 national elections. Since the operation began, Iraqi and U.S. forces have rounded up 35 suspected insurgents.

Release #050121v

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