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American Forces Press Service

16 Insurgents Killed in Iraq, 18 Detained; Weapons Caches Found

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2007 – Coalition forces killed 16 terrorists and detained 18 others in Iraq this week, military officials said, and troops discovered multiple weapons caches.

In Iraq yesterday, soldiers from the 3rd Iraqi Army Division, with coalition advisors, detained three suspected members of an insurgent cell during operations in the village of Ibrat As Saghirah in northern Iraq. The insurgent cell with links to al Qaeda in Iraq is responsible for coordinating and carrying out mortar and small arms attacks against Iraqi civilians, military officials said.

In eastern Baghdad yesterday, U.S. Army soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, with elements from the Iraqi army, launched "Operation Wolf."

The mission, aimed at bringing more security to the area by reducing sectarian violence and clearing the area of insurgents, is part of an on-going U.S.-Iraqi effort to transition security to Iraqi security forces.

Also in Iraq yesterday:

-- Coalition forces working on intelligence reports engaged and killed nine armed terrorists, detained six others and discovered grenades, machine guns and pistols in Haditha.

-- Coalition forces killed six terrorists and detained two others during an operation in Baghdad.

-- Coalition forces shot and killed one terrorist, detained another and discovered bomb-making materials during a raid in Yusufiyah.

-- Paratroopers with the 25th Infantry Division and Iraqi security forces detained four suspects in Karbala with alleged ties to the Jan. 20 attack at the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center.

Earlier this week east in eastern Baghdad, soldiers with 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, detained two suspected insurgents and seized roughly 7,000 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition Jan. 21 during a neighborhood search.

Elsewhere in Iraq this week, Marines from 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 discovered 14 large weapons caches Jan. 21 during Operation Northern Venture in Anbar province.

“The discovery of such caches is extremely important as it provides the Iraqi civilians a better sense of security,” Lt. Col. Kenneth M. DeTreux, battalion commanding officer, said. “When we take these weapons away, we lessen the ability of the enemy to terrorize and intimidate civilians.”

The caches contained seven heavy machine guns, one small machine gun, six AK-47 assault rifles, one bolt-action rifle and two Iranian assault rifles. Marines also discovered 23 82 mm high explosive mortars, five 60 mm high explosive mortar rounds, one 120 mm high explosive mortar round, small- and heavy-arms ammunition and a large assortment of weapons related equipment.

“The caches that we found were a mix of all sorts of ordnance from mortars to heavy machine guns,” Maj. Sean M. Riordan, battalion executive officer, said. “There's no doubt that the rural areas in Iraq contain numerous weapons caches, and the things we took away from the insurgency help to chip away at their tactical capabilities.”

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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