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Iraqi, U.S. forces gain ground against terrorists

-- Iraqi Security Forces and Task Force Baghdad Soldiers are gathering strength and putting a dent in the fighting capabilities of international terrorists.

Iraqi Security Forces discovered a large terrorist's base March 28 in Salman Pak, south of Baghdad. The Iraqi forces stormed the base, overcame light resistance and disabled several improvised explosive devices. Several weapons, munitions and two IEDs were found on the scene. More than 90 suspected terrorists were captured and are being questioned.

The Soldiers were acting on tips from concerned citizens. The Iraqi Security Forces, led by the Iraqi Special Operations Forces Brigade, planned and executed multiple raids into Salman Park, which was used by anti-Iraqi force networks for planning and staging attacks.

"This operation was the first major joint operation between the ISOF Brigade, Iraqi Police forces and conventional coalition forces," said Brig. Gen. Karl Horst, assistant commander to Task Force Baghdad. "This operation represents the significant progress that Iraqi Security Forces are making to make all of Iraq a safer place for it's citizens."

Task Force Baghdad Soldiers discovered eight weapons caches in close proximity to a U.S. military supply route south of Baghdad March 27.

Soldiers used metal detectors to find the hidden weapons, which included 58 assorted artillery and mortar rounds, 11 rocket-propelled grenade heat rounds and three RPG launchers. The Soldiers also uncovered six RPG anti-personnel rounds, 1,000 6.3 mm primers, a machine gun, an AK-47 rifle, and more than 400 rounds of ammunition. Other munitions found include 100 time fuses, 39 booster charges of various sizes, 10 blasting caps, five mortar fuses, two armored vests, detonation cord and a wide assortment of electronic equipment.

Also March 27, Soldiers with the 1st Iraqi Army Brigade, 6th Division, arrested an Iraqi Police master sergeant, who has been accused of being the leader of a terror cell. The suspect is also believed to be responsible for the bombing of the Al-Baratha Mosque.

While on patrol IA Soldiers found three RPGs. The Soldiers arrested an individual who fired one of the RPGs.

In central Baghdad, Soldiers with 1/69 Armor found an IED in a shoe box. A Navy explosive ordnance detachment was on the scene and safely detonated the IED.

Soldiers with 1/13 Armor reported an IED on a military service route. The device was made from a 130 mm projectile. EOD arrived on the scene and conducted a controlled detonation.

"On the average we find 50 percent of the IEDs. In a given 24-hour period, we have found 60 percent. In IED attacks initiated against Multi-National Division Baghdad, 70 percent have been ineffective at producing a casualty," said Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, Task Force Baghdad spokesperson.

"This can be attributed to the technological advances in equipment, armor protection and the fact that we are capturing or killing experienced anti-Iraqi forces."

Iraqi Police took control of a situation around 11:30 p.m. March 27 in south central Baghdad when Soldiers with 3/7 Infantry came under small-arms fire. IPs pursued the suspect down the street. The IPs and 3/7 Infantry Soldiers secured the area and searched for the suspect, who was on foot. About 10 minutes later, the IPs caught the suspect and took him in custody.

Iraqi Army Soldiers were equally busy March 26 in the fight against terrorists.

Iraqi Army Soldiers arrested a Pakistani father and two of his sons after receiving a tip. The men were found with cell phones, false passports, passport-making equipment and anti-coalition proproganda.



Iraqi Army Soldiers with the Special Operations Forces Brigade arrested more than 90 suspects in a raid March 28. (Coalition photo)


Iraqi Army Soldiers with the Special Operations Forces Brigade, conducted a raid March 28 based on information they received. The raid was conducted in Salman Pak. (Coalition photo)

Text for release and opsec review provided by the 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office. For more information, please contact 3 ID PAO at CLIFFORD.KENT@ID3.army.mil

Release #050330e

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