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American Forces Press Service

Apache Crash Kills Two; Operations Net Suspects, Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2006 Two Task Force Ironhorse soldiers were killed today when their AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed, and various operations in Iraq netted terrorism suspects and weapons, military officials in Baghdad reported today.

The Apache crashed in a swampy area north of Taji at about 8:20 a.m. while conducting a combat air patrol, officials said. Though emphasizing that it is premature to determine the cause of the crash and that an investigation will be conducted, military officials said the area where the aircraft went down has been known for terrorist activity.

The soldiers' names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In other news, operations throughout Iraq resulted in detention of terrorism suspects and discovery of weapons caches.

Iraqi security forces and the 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, detained nine people suspected of making improvised explosive devices yesterday. Elements of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, the Hamiyah police department and 1-67 AR soldiers combined to cordon off a region near Musayib to search for known terrorists.

The units worked together, moving from house to house to detain those suspected of terrorist activity in the area. Eight suspects are being held for questioning by coalition forces. One was identified as a known terrorist and remains in Iraqi security forces custody.

Iraqi civilians in Mosul yesterday led Iraqi police and a patrol from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team to the house of a man wanted for a drive-by shooting. Iraqi police reported that a vehicle approached them and began to fire at the policemen with an automatic rifle.

The car sped away and the police were unable to catch up to it, before it was lost in dense traffic. Many citizens who witnessed the event gave information concerning the direction the vehicle traveled.

The soldiers responded to help the police, as they continued to follow tip after tip until the final one led them directly into the suspect's yard. The troops cordoned the area around the house as the police searched, turning up the car involved with the shooting as well as the man responsible.

Task Force Ironhorse soldiers using metal detectors discovered a large weapons cache buried and spread out for 150 meters along a canal Jan. 14 in the rural Abu Ghraib area. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry, discovered mortars, anti-personnel rounds, a Russian sub-machine gun, U.S. maps, rolls of detonation cord with blasting caps, an artillery round, homemade explosive powder, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher with nine rounds and a grenade launcher.

Soldiers also found thousands of rounds of ammunition, assorted mortar charges, a machine gun barrel, RPG scopes, hand grenades, mortar sights, a recoilless rifle, a rifle butt stock, a black mask, various improvised explosive device materials and assorted propaganda.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Task Force Ironhorse news releases.)

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