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Release A050623b

Operation Spear complete

Multi-National Force-Iraq

BLUE DIAMOND, Iraq – Iraqi Security Forces and Marines and Sailors with Regimental Combat Team 2 completed Operation Spear (Romhe) June 22, concluding a five-day operation on objectives in and around the city of Karabilah , near the Syrian border.

During the operation Marines, Sailors and Soldiers, rooted out terrorist strongholds, killing 47 and detaining one for questioning.

While patrolling through the small town along the border, ISF and Marines discovered and terrorist torture house, with four hostages bound and gagged inside. The hostages received medical attention for wounds they sustained by their captors.  They stated they were tortured and held for three weeks.  According to media and others who spoke with the men, they said they were not interrogated by the terrorists or told why they were being tortured.

The building where the hostages were held contained an improvised explosive device factory in the basement.  This building was part of a compound containing a school with bomb-making instructions on the classroom's blackboard.

Three car bomb factories were discovered in separate locations by Iraqi Soldiers, and Marines in western Karabilah.  A total of 17 car bombs were located, including a tractor-trailer, dump truck and van rigged with explosives, which were destroyed in place by a Marine tank unit.  Large secondary explosions were observed coming from the explosive-laden vehicles.  ISF and Marines also discovered small weapons caches with machine guns, mortar rounds and rockets.

There have been no signs or indications of any large-scale displacement of the citizens of Karabilah.  Marines manning the checkpoints outside of the city, designed to capture fleeing terrorists, did not report large numbers of citizens leaving the city.





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