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Ministry of Interior Commandos encounter insurgent training facility

TIKRIT, Iraq - Members of the Iraqi Ministry of Interior (MOI) 1st Police Commando Battalion discovered and attacked an apparent training facility for Anti-Iraqi Forces (AIF) in southwestern Salah Ad Din Province at about 11 a.m. March 22.

The MOI officers received both indirect and direct fire from the facility as they approached near Lake Tharthar on the border with Iraq's Al Anbar Province. The MOI commandos attacked through the objective and forced the insurgents to break contact.

Elements of Task Force Liberty's Aviation Brigade provided supporting fires to the MOI officers. Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team responded to support the MOI attack.

An early assessment of the site indicates a facility for training Anti-Iraqi Forces. Documentation at the facility indicates that some members of the AIF were foreign fighters.

Initial reports from the Ministry of Interior forces indicate seven MOI commandos killed and an additional six wounded. An undetermined number of insurgents and foreign fighters were killed at the site. No Task Force Liberty Soldiers were wounded in the incident.

"Iraqis can take immense pride today in the conduct of their security forces," said Maj. Gen. Joseph J. Taluto, commander of the 42nd Infantry Division and Task Force Liberty. "Today's actions indicate how strong Iraqi Security Forces are becoming and how far they can reach."

Task Force Liberty consists of the Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters and base units along with the 116th Brigade Combat Team and 278th Regimental Combat Team and the 1st and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.

Text for release and opsec review provided by the 42ND Infantry Division Public Affairs Office. For more information, please contact 42 ID PAO at

Release #050322e

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