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American Forces Press Service

Soldier Killed by Roadside Bomb; 500 Abu Ghraib Prisoners Freed

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2005 A roadside bomb killed a soldier on a foot patrol Oct. 31 near Haswah, Iraq, military officials reported today.

The soldier, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, was assigned to the 155th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

In other news from Iraq, about 500 prisoners walked free from the U.S. military-run Abu Ghraib prison today in the spirit of Eid al-Fitr, a day of joy and thanksgiving marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, military officials announced today.

The Iraqi government requested a special release board and worked with Multinational Force Iraq to expedite the release of about 500 security detainees from Abu Ghraib today, officials noted.

"These detainees were selected for release following a careful and thorough review of their files by a special Iraqi-led review board, which determined they had not committed serious crimes against Iraqi forces, the citizens of Iraq or coalition forces," a spokesman said.

Officials said the special review board carefully reviewed detainee files and voted to release those not guilty of serious, violent crimes such as bombing, torture, kidnapping or murder. These detainees have confessed to their crimes, renounced violence and pledged to be good citizens of Iraq.

"This release is an acknowledgment by the Iraqi government and the Multinational Force Iraq of the importance of the holy month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr," the spokesman said. "It was decided to release the detainees to allow them to be with families and loved ones on this day to help in the process of building a new Iraq."

Deputy Prime Minister Abed Motlaq al-Jabouri, Justice Minister Abdul Hussein Shandel and Human Rights Minister Narmin Othman witnessed the release to emphasize the importance of being a good Iraqi citizen and provide support to the Iraqi government, officials noted. In news from military operations, Task Force Baghdad soldiers captured four terrorists Oct. 31 in western Abu Ghraib, about 20 miles west of Iraq's capital city of Baghdad, officials said.

Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry, were manning a tactical control point when terrorists in a vehicle approached and opened small-arms fire on them, officials noted. The soldiers returned fire, wounding one insurgent and capturing three others who immediately were taken to the Abu Ghraib hospital for treatment. The terrorist's vehicle was loaded with electrical equipment, tape, wires and tools, officials said.

In northern Iraq, Task Force Freedom soldiers netted 11 terror suspects and confiscated weapons and ammunition during an Oct. 28-31 operation, officials said.

The soldiers killed two terrorists and wounded another after being attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire from a vehicle in northern Iraq on Oct. 31. The soldiers took the bodies of the dead and wounded terrorists to a local hospital. When the soldiers searched the vehicle, they found AK-47 rifles, a machine gun, hand grenades and ammunition.

In eastern Mosul, soldiers from the 503rd Military Police seized a large weapons cache consisting of rolls of detonation cord, rocket propelled grenades and mortar rounds, a mortar tube, an improvised rocket launching tube, and 3,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition.

Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment seized a cache consisting of 500 rounds of ammunition in Tuaim.

On Oct. 30, soldiers from 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, captured four terror suspects during a raid in eastern Mosul. In Tal Afar and Tal Hajar, soldiers from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment detained an individual identified as wanted in connection with the death of an Iraqi policeman.

Soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, captured three more individuals identified for involvement in improvised explosive device activity and detained another individual suspected of terrorist activity during separate operations in Tal Afar and Tal Hajar. Soldiers from the 2nd Squadron, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, detained two individuals suspected of terrorist activity in Tal Afar, officials said.

Task Force Freedom soldiers wounded two terrorists attempting to flee during an Oct. 29 vehicle pursuit in central Mosul. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, seized weapons, scopes, and loaded ammunition magazines during a search in western Mosul Oct. 28. Weapons caches were confiscated for future destruction, officials said. On Oct. 29, soldiers assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, reported finding two vehicle bombs in south Baghdad. The first truck contained four 122 mm rounds and the second vehicle contained three 130 mm rounds and two 122 mm rounds. An explosives ordnance disposal team was summoned to the scene to disable the explosive charges. Three suspects were detained for further questioning about the bombs. In the air war over Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 34 close-air-support and armed-reconnaissance sorties Oct. 31 for Operation Iraqi Freedom, including missions supporting coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities. Coalition aircraft also supported Iraqi and coalition ground forces operations to create a secure environment for ongoing Transitional National Assembly meetings, according to Air Force officials in Southwest Asia.

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided close air support to coalition troops near Mahmudiyah. In addition, nine Air Force and Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Also, Royal Air Force fighter aircraft 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 Public Affairs news releases.)


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