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Soldiers thwart IED attacks in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Aug. 15, 2005) -- Five large improvised explosive devices on major Baghdad highways were identified by Task Force Baghdad Soldiers Aug. 14 and then safely destroyed before they could hurt anyone.

“We are aggressively and actively countering the Anti-Iraqi Force IED threat by doing more patrols,” said Maj. Raul Benitez, intelligence officer for 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. “It is not that the terrorists are doing a poor job of planting these devices, but rather, we are becoming better at identifying these possible threats.”

The IEDs were destroyed by an explosive ordnance disposal team.

Training also helped Soldiers from 3/15th Infantry Regiment when their Bradley Fighting Vehicle was struck by an IED Aug. 13 near Sadr City.

Following the attack, the Soldiers exited the vehicle and secured the area. Additional U.S. Army units responded to secure the site while Baghdad civil defense responders worked to extinguish the resulting fire.

Iraqi and U.S. Soldiers squelched a terrorist attack on a patrol base in southwest Baghdad Aug. 11 when terrorists fired five rocket-propelled grenade rounds at the base, along with 10 minutes of rifle fire.

A patrol consisting of Iraqi and U.S. Soldiers set out in the direction of the attack and captured six of the attackers and a weapons cache of two RPGs and three rifles with ammunition hidden nearby.

“We have been making a definite impact in our area of operations,” said Lt. Col. Steve McCorkle, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry, 48th Brigade Combat Team.

Iraqi Police also curbed an attack with the arrest of a man in central Baghdad Aug. 11 who was carrying a black bag containing what police thought was TNT. Upon questioning, the man admitted he planned to place the bomb in the area. Task Force Baghdad explosives experts were called to the scene and disposed of the bomb, taking the suspect into custody for further questioning.

Operations conducted by Task Force Baghdad Soldiers Aug. 13 led to the capture of 10 terror suspects and 3 weapons caches. The operations conducted in the pre-dawn hours consisted of cordoning off a number of suspected terrorist safe-houses and searching house by house. Ten suspected terrorists thought to be involved with terrorist activity in south Baghdad were found and detained.

Three weapons caches were also found that day based on tips provided by Iraqi citizens. Two caches were in northwest Baghdad, and one of them consisted of five boxes of anti-aircraft ammunition. The third cache was found in southeast Baghdad and contained RPGs and two launchers and 16 mortar rounds and a launcher.

In northern Iraq, Task Force Freedom detained 21 terrorist suspects in Mosul Aug. 13-14 in several separate operations by Multi-National Forces and Iraqi Security Forces.

(Editor’s Note: Information from a number of news releases was combined by ARNEWS correspondent Carrie David for this article.)



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