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American Forces Press Service

Iraqi Police Find SAMs, Large Cache of Anti-aircraft Rounds

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2005 Iraqi police located a large cache of munitions eight kilometers southeast of Tikrit near Owja July 28, military officials in Iraq reported today.

The cache consisted of nine surface-to-air missiles, 11 57 mm anti-aircraft artillery rounds, 300 14.5 mm anti-aircraft artillery rounds, and 300 23 mm anti-aircraft artillery rounds.

In other news from Iraq, two armed men driving a Nissan in Baghdad's Al Askan District attacked Iraqi police officers July 28, officials said. One police officer was wounded in the initial exchange of gunfire. Additional Iraqi police responded with small-arms fire, disabling the vehicle. One of the attackers was killed, and the other was wounded. Police confiscated a 9 mm pistol, two black masks, and eight fake Iraqi army identification cards.

The injured attacker later admitted the pair's mission was to kill police and Iraqi soldiers, officials said.

Acting on a tip from a civilian informant July 28, Iraqi and coalition forces conducted a cordon-and-search operation in Baghdad. Soldiers with 5th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, and 2nd Battalion, 156th U.S. Infantry Regiment, were searching for two specific terrorism suspects. Both were detained, along with eight additional suspects. Two mortar rounds slammed into an Iraqi army compound in Mahmuhdiyah on July 27, killing an Iraqi contractor and wounding two U.S. soldiers and 10 local residents.

The two American soldiers suffered minor wounds and were returned to duty. Task Force Baghdad medics were on site and immediately began giving first aid to the wounded and helped evacuate them to the Mahmuhdiyah hospital, officials said.

Task Force Baghdad units responded to a July 27 small-arms attack on an Iraqi Army checkpoint south of Baghdad. After about 15 terrorists began firing on the checkpoint, U.S. forces responded with air, infantry and armor units to successfully ward off the attack. Soldiers checked and cleared houses in the area, found numerous weapons, and detained four suspects for questioning, officials said.

Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 108th Armor Regiment, found a large weapons cache during a routine combat patrol July 27. The cache contained more than 30 120 mm mortar rounds, seven fuses wrapped in plastic, two boxes of heavy machine gun ammunition, several grenades and a 55-gallon drum containing blasting caps, detonation cord and additional mortar rounds.

"This type of find is a motivator to every soldier here," said Maj. Jay McNair, an operations officer in the 48th BCT. "Just think - all those munitions were hidden away to do possible harm to someone. Now, thanks to those soldiers, the explosives will be destroyed,"

Operation Thundercat continued July 27, as Iraqi and U.S. Forces captured terrorism suspects during a series of cordon-and-search missions in Baghdad. The major success of the operation, which began July 24, belonged to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Iraqi Army Brigade, and companies of 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment, 256th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. At 6 a.m. July 27, the combined force searched a home in the west Abu Ghraib district of Baghdad, which resulted in the capture of seven suspects. Soldiers also confiscated a computer with terrorist information.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq, and Task Force Baghdad news releases.)



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