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American Forces Press Service

Italian Journalist Injured at Checkpoint After Gaining Freedom

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2005 Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena was injured today when coalition forces fired on a vehicle that was approaching a checkpoint in Baghdad at high speed, Multinational Force Iraq officials announced in a written statement.

“It appears a second person in the automobile was killed,” the statement went on to say, adding that Sgrena was being treated at a coalition medical facility. No further official details about the incident were available.

Sgrena was kidnapped in Iraq a month ago, and Italian officials announced today that she had been released.

In other news from Iraq, a U.S. soldier was injured today when an improvised explosive device detonated in western Baghdad during a patrol of the city, Multinational Force Iraq officials reported.

The soldier was attached to Task Force Baghdad, part of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, a statement said. No report was available on the soldier’s condition.

Soldiers also detained four people identified by local citizens as insurgents, and netted a cache of weapons after two sweeps of the area. The first search produced a rocket-propelled grenade, two rockets and an 82 mm mortar system. After searching again with a metal detector, the patrol uncovered a 120 mm mortar system, two more 82 mm mortar systems, tank rounds, blasting caps, rockets, fuses and other weapons.

More weapons caches were found elsewhere in Iraq today.

In Kalsu, a variety of weapons was discovered in a house northeast of Forward Operating Base Dogwood by the soldiers of B Company, 150th Engineer Battalion, 155th Brigade Combat Team, serving with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. Among the weapons seized and subsequently destroyed were 1,500 rounds of assorted small-arms ammunition, an SA-7 surface-to-air missile, 21 hand grenades, various rockets and mortar rounds, 150 assorted fuses, seven RPGs, rifle grenades, mortar tubes and artillery rounds.

In Wasit province, 332 155 mm artillery rounds, 17 83 mm mortar rounds and six 60 mm mortar rounds were discovered by U.S. forces and secured at the Iraqi police station in Kut.

Iraqi and multinational forces detained 42 suspects and confiscated weapons in the northern Iraq city of Biaj on March 3. The soldiers confiscated 75 AK-47 assault rifles, an RPG, two shotguns, three bolt-action rifles, four pistols, a hand grenade and more than 350 rounds of various ammunition.

Also on March 3, coalition Iraqi forces detained 10 people suspected of terrorist activity in and around Mosul. Iraqi forces detained four people who were dismantling a vehicle in eastern Mosul with the likely intent of making a car bomb, officials said.

Iraqi and multinational forces also detained four people suspected of terrorist activities, one of whom was positively identified as a known mortar cell member in western Mosul. Iraqi security forces detained another suspected terrorist, and yet another was captured in a cordon-and-search operation conducted by Iraqi and coalition forces.

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