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American Forces Press Service

Raids in Iraq Net Suspected Terrorists, Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2005 Early morning raids today resulted in the detention of five suspected terrorists and the confiscation or destruction of multiple weapons caches, military officials in Iraq reported.

In Samarra, three suspected terrorists were detained during a joint raid based on information gathered from Iraqi civilians. One suspect tested positive for explosive residue at the scene. The men told security personnel they were preparing two vehicles at the scene for use as bombs. Security forces destroyed the two vehicle bombs at the site. Iraqi army and coalition soldiers also seized $1,500, 66,000 Iraqi dinar, two cell phones, two combat knives and several blank identification cards.

In Ubaydi, in northern Iraq, coalition forces raided two suspected al Qaeda foreign fighter safe houses based on intelligence and tips from local citizens.

All foreign fighters had fled the first safe house prior to the coalition forces' arrival. However, weapons and a large amount of small-arms ammunition and bomb-making materials were found, as well as extremist propaganda. Coalition forces set delayed explosive charges, destroying the terrorist materials.

At the second location, coalition forces found a vehicle bomb rigged to detonate on command. Coalition close air support aircraft destroyed it. Coalition forces were leaving the area when they were engaged by terrorists. They returned fire, killing one terrorist. The others fled the scene.

In Baqubah, Task Force Liberty and Iraqi army soldiers on a joint raid detained two people and seized weapons, including a sniper rifle with a scope, a PKC machine gun and several assault rifles. The detainees were taken to a coalition base for questioning. Coalition aircraft flew 50 close air support and armed reconnaissance sorties for Operation Iraqi Freedom on Sept. 16. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities, U.S. Central Command Air Forces said.

U.S. Air Force F-16s and U.S. Navy F/A-18s provided close air support to coalition troops near Iskandariyah, Muqdadiyah, Baghdad, Jallulah and Tal Afar.

Eleven U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. U.S Air Force and Royal Air Force fighter aircraft also performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)

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