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Massive weapons cache discovered near Kirkuk

CAMP ECHO, Iraq (Army News Service, Nov. 28, 2005) -- Soldiers discovered more than 2,700 mortar rounds near an abandoned Iraqi Army base south of Kirkuk Nov. 27.

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, and explosive ordnance disposal experts began the task of unearthing the weapons from a mound located in a field full of similar mounds. Iraqi and U.S. forces are securing the site and preparing to excavate the remaining mounds in search of additional weapons.

This cache alone has yielded as much explosive material as gathered in the brigade’s area over the past two months, according to the EOD team at the site.

Weapons and explosives seized by Iraqi and U.S. forces are normally moved to a secure location and disposed of through controlled detonations in order to keep them from being used against local citizens and coalition forces.

Caches found in Operation Tigers

In Ar Ramadi, Iraq, efforts of Operation Numur (Tigers) by Soldiers of the Iraqi Army and Task Force 2-69, U.S. Army, have netted several caches, including two that were found along a railroad track used by local citizens.

The caches found consisted of numerous artillery and mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades, high explosives, small arms weapons, small arms ammunition, bulletproof vests and bomb making equipment.

The Iraqi Army spearheaded the operation by providing security, identifying cache sites and gathering important information through their interaction with the local citizens.

“These actions prove the Iraqi Army is truly making very rapid advances. With time, we will be able to secure all of Ramadi and remove all of the hidden enemy weapons cache points,” said Lt. Col. Abdul Majeed, commander of the 3-2-1 Iraqi Army.

Additionally, several suspected insurgents, to include Imad Salih Al-Fahdawi, a known insurgent linked to the Abu Khattab-al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) terrorist cell, were detained during the operation. Imad Salih was involved in attacks against government officials and imams.

Insurgents linked to the al Qaeda in Iraq cell, which is a part of the Abu Musab Zarqawi network in Ramadi have vowed to prevent the local citizens from participating in the up-coming Dec. 15 elections.

Operation Tigers is the fourth in a series of offensive operations which have been executed by the Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (from the 28th Infantry Division) assigned to 2nd Marine Division.

20 terrorists captured

Soldiers from Multinational Division Central-South captured 20 men suspected of terrorism in the northern part of Babil province Nov. 28.

The suspected men were armed. MNDCS Soldiers also seized machine guns, ammunition and other equipment. This equipment is being held for investigation U.S. Soldiers discovered more than 2,700 mortar rounds near an abandoned Iraqi Army base south of Kirkuk, Iraq, Nov. 27.

(Editor’s note: This story was compiled by Sgt. Ken Hall at ARNEWS and features information contributed by Lt. Col. Ed Loomis, TF Band of Brothers 101st AB PAO, the Public Information Office of MNDC-South, and the 2D Marine Division PAO contributed to this story.)

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