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American Forces Press Service

Mosque Attacked; U.S. Forces Capture Gunman, Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2006 Enemy fighters attacked a Baghdad mosque, and U.S. forces detained a gunman with possible links to an improvised explosive device they were securing in separate incidents yesterday. U.S. troops also discovered a weapons cache Jan. 20.

Terrorists fired mortars at a mosque in north-central Baghdad at about 6:40 p.m. yesterday. Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, accompanied by coalition forces, observed at least five mortar rounds impact near a mosque in the Adhamiyah neighborhood. All rounds appear to have impacted near the mosque with none impacting the mosque directly. Local officials are assessing the damage.

Elsewhere, Task Force Band of Brothers soldiers captured a gunman after a brief car chase through Mosul. Soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team were securing an IED they had discovered while patrolling in the city when they started taking small-arms fire. As they searched the area for the shooter, the patrol took more gunfire from a nearby car.

The soldiers pursued the car through the city and engaged it with rifle fire, causing the driver to lose control and crash. The suspect fled the scene on foot and tried to hide among a group of local men, but the soldiers identified the gunman and took him into custody. The gunman's vehicle tested positive for explosives residue, possibly linking him to the IED, which was safely destroyed.

Soldiers with the Illinois National Guard and Marines from 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) captured a weapons cache and detained two suspected insurgents during a combat patrol Jan. 20 near the city of Qaryat al Jaffah.

The cache consisted of 82 mm mortar rounds, artillery and mortar fuses, wire, armor-piercing machine-gun rounds, rocket-propelled grenades with boosters and a launcher, hand grenades, 57 mm rockets, 122 mm artillery shells, and small-arms rounds. Marine Corps military dogs were used in the caches' search and discovery.

The servicemembers make up what is known as Task Force Blackhawk. Prior to their current assignment, the unit was attached to Multinational Force Baghdad, working near the Iraqi capital, where they captured more than 30 weapons caches.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Task Force Band of Brothers news releases.)


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