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American Forces Press Service

18 Detained, Weapons Cache Discovered; Suicide Bomber Killed

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2007 – Coalition forces nabbed 18 suspected terrorists, discovered a weapons cache and killed a potential suicide bomber in Iraq over the past few days.

During operations targeting the al Qaeda in Iraq network and foreign fighter facilitators in Baghdad this morning, coalition forces detained 11 suspected terrorists. One detainee is an alleged improvised-explosive-device maker, military officials said.

Elsewhere in Iraq today, coalition forces captured three suspected terrorists in Ramadi, including another alleged IED maker responsible for attacks against coalition forces.

In Fallujah today, troops captured four suspects with alleged ties to an al Qaeda foreign fighter facilitation network.

South of Baghdad yesterday, paratroopers from Company D, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, discovered a weapons cache. While patrolling the area, paratroopers discovered the cache, which contained 400 tank rounds, 50 130 mm mortars and three 60 mm mortars. An explosive ordnance disposal team detonated the weapons.

Iraqi soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, shot and killed a suicide bomber March 17 south of Shakarat. Coalition forces nearby reported seeing the suicide bomber running toward an Iraqi tactical checkpoint. When the bomber failed to obey several verbal warnings to stop, the Iraqi soldiers shot him, causing the vest to detonate. This was the second suicide bomber incident in two days in the Diyala province, military officials said.

"The terrorists are now seeing and experiencing the effectiveness of the Iraqi security forces," said Army Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and the senior coalition officer in Diyala province.

"This is why we are seeing an increase on audible attacks, attacks that are attempting to create fear within the local population,” he said. “I applaud the (Iraqi troops) whose vigilance and attention prevented those suicide bombers from achieving their targets. Those are the actions of a professional force, which is helping gain the support of their people.”

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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