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American Forces Press Service

Troops Respond to Blast; Soldiers Die in Separate Incidents

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2005 -- Coalition forces from the Polish-controlled Multinational Division Central South responded to a suicide bombing in Hilla, Iraq, today.

A coalition spokesman in Baghdad reported that MND CS troops responded with a quick reaction force and medical assistance after the blast, which civilian press reports say killed at least 125 people south of Baghdad. U.S. officials had no further details on the incident.

In other news from Iraq, a Task Force Baghdad soldier died Feb. 27 after being shot while manning a traffic-control point in southern Baghdad, Iraq, Multinational Force Iraq officials reported.

Officials provided no other details about the incident.

A 1st Corps Support Command soldier is dead and two others were injured as a result of a vehicular accident about 20 miles northwest of Tikrit near the town of Bayji today. The soldier who died was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said, and the wounded soldiers were taken to nearby hospitals. No report was available on their condition. In Baqubah today, an Iraqi civilian was killed and two others were wounded by small-arms fire. The casualties occurred when Iraqi police exchanged fire with terrorists near a traffic circle. The Iraqi police detained three suspects in the incident.

Elsewhere in Iraq, Task Force Liberty soldiers stopped terrorists from detonating a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in Samarra on Feb. 27.

The vehicle charged a coalition combat patrol, but crashed into a wall after being fired on by the patrol. The terrorists fled the scene without detonating the device, which contained more than a dozen artillery rounds. The vehicle was destroyed in a controlled blast at the scene.

There were no coalition injuries or damage to equipment.

Iraqi and U.S. forces continued increased security operations throughout Iraq's Anbar province over the weekend. Those operations netted more than 50 suspected terrorists and multiple weapons caches.

On Feb. 27, Iraqi soldiers operating with U.S. Marines in eastern Hadithah saw two vehicles believed to have been used in a previous ambush against the unit. The Iraqi soldiers stopped and searched the vehicles, discovering an AK-47 assault rifle that had recently been fired. They detained two people for further questioning.

In northern Fallujah on Feb. 26, Iraqi soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Iraqi Intervention Force Brigade, discovered six surface-to-air missiles hidden under a tarp in an alley. The Iraqi solders made the discovery while conducting a foot patrol in their sector.

The missiles were turned over to U.S. Marine explosive ordnance disposal experts.

Earlier that day, Iraqi soldiers from Public Order Battalion 2 located a weapons cache in western Fallujah after receiving a tip from a civilian. The cache consisted of 40 artillery rounds, 1,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition, 16 60 mm mortar rounds, seven 120 mm mortar rounds, an 82 mm mortar round, and three rockets.

The cache was located in a small store near Jolan Park.

Just 30 minutes earlier in Saqliwiyah, Iraqi soldiers from the same battalion detained one suspected terrorist and seized numerous weapons while conducting patrols.

The weapons included of an SA-7 surface-to-air missile launcher with a missile in the tube, three rocket boosters, 12 grenades, six rocket-propelled-grenade warheads, 11 RPG rockets, four rifles, and a 12.7 mm machine gun barrel.

Elsewhere in Iraq, terrorists killed a child and wounded six other civilians Feb. 26 when they launched three rockets into Fallujah. The first rocket wounded four civilians, destroyed a vehicle and damaged a house. The second rocket hit near Jolan Park, killing the child and injuring two other children. The third rocket caused no casualties and little damage.

In southern Fallujah on the morning of Feb. 27, Iraqi soldiers stopped a group of military-aged males attempting to illegally cross into the city. One of the individuals had three full AK-47 magazines and was detained for further questioning. The others were questioned, instructed on the proper way to enter the city and released.

Among weapons seized by coalition and Iraqi forces over the weekend in Anbar province were 15 AK-47 assault rifles, 43 RPG rounds, 11 RPG launchers, 40 RPG motors, three medium machine guns, six rifles, 5,620 small-arms rounds, two cans of 20 mm rounds, 144 recoilless-rifle rounds, 52 60 mm mortar rounds, two 60 mm mortar systems, 118 80 mm mortar rounds, four 81 mm mortar rounds, 164 82 mm mortar rounds, three 105 mm mortar rounds, 167 120 mm mortar rounds, three 120 mm mortar tubes, one 120 mm mortar base plate, 40 155 mm artillery rounds, 28 155 mm casings, two wire-guided missiles, 18 rockets, 12 rocket motors, 626 mortar fuses, 58 hand grenades, a grenade launcher, 40 rifle grenades, 11 land mines, five bayonets, 21 blasting caps, three 55-gallon drums full of TNT, six IEDs, 700 feet of detonation cord, 200 pounds of rocket fuel, and 250 pounds of ammonium nitrate.

Terrorist propaganda and materials to make improvised-explosive devices also were found with the weapons caches, officials said.

Iraqi security forces and multinational forces detained 23 suspected terrorists in northern Iraq on Feb. 27. Troops of the 102nd Iraqi Army detained 15 people suspected of insurgent activity during cordon-and-search operations outside of Hawd. Iraqi police detained three people following an explosion that killed five Iraq police officers and injured three Iraqi citizens in Hamam Al Alil. One of the individuals is suspected of being involved in the attack, officials said. Iraqi Intervention Force soldiers and multinational forces detained three people suspected of insurgent activity during a cordon-and-search operation in central Mosul, where troops of the 101st and 104th Iraqi Army detained two other suspects in another cordon-and-search operation. The individuals detained Feb. 27 bring to 211 the number of suspected terrorists detained in Anbar province since the start of Operation River Blitz.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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