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American Forces Press Service

Search Continues for Missing Soldiers; Iraq Operations Updated

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2007 – Coalition and Iraqi troops continue to search for two missing U.S. soldiers abducted by terrorists after a complex attack in Iraq on May 12.

Soldiers of Company B, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) from Fort Drum, N.Y., and the 4th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, conducted Operation Polar Charade southwest of Rushdi Mullah, today to search for the missing Soldiers. Nineteen suspected terrorists were detained during the operation and are being held for questioning.

As part of an earlier search for the missing soldiers, Iraqi soldiers killed two insurgents linked to al Qaeda in Iraq and detained two other suspected insurgents southwest of Balad Air Base during an early-morning raid June 1.

In other Iraq operations, attack helicopter crews from 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, in a coordinated operation with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, killed four terrorists, apprehended six suspects and destroyed one van and several rockets that were aimed toward the Baghdad’s International Zone yesterday.

The Apache helicopter team was alerted to the area when terrorists were spotted setting up several rocket firing positions aimed at the International Zone. Four terrorists were killed, and one vehicle and 10 rockets were destroyed.

Coalition forces detained seven suspected terrorists in raids last night targeting al Qaeda in Iraq in the Mosul and Taji areas.

Two coordinated operations targeted four brothers in Mosul who are suspected of heading and staffing a terrorist cell associated with al-Qaeda in Iraq. Coalition forces detained five suspected terrorists in the raids, including two of the brothers. During the operation, coalition forces found a vehicle rigged as a car bomb.

In numerous operations yesterday, coalition and Iraqi forces captured suspected insurgents and weapons caches throughout Iraq

-- Coalition forces killed one terrorist and detained eight suspected terrorists, including an alleged senior al Qaeda in Iraq leader, in operations.

-- Coalition forces raided a building in Hit while tracking an al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist leader. The ground force detained three suspected terrorists, one allegedly the military emir of the area who works directly with other high-level al Qaeda operatives.

-- West of Baghdad, coalition forces detained four suspected terrorists, including one individual who allegedly builds and plants improvised explosive devices for use in the Karkh neighborhood of Baghdad.

-- A suspected member of a car-bomb cell in Adamiyah was detained during a coalition raid east of Baghdad. Intelligence reports indicate the individual also was involved in attacks against coalition forces.

--Iraqi security and coalition forces killed seven members of al Qaeda in Iraq, detained eight suspects and destroyed a truck bomb factory in the Sinaee district of Fallujah. Fallujah police, soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi army division and Marines from Regimental Combat Team 6 conducted the combined operation. Eight personnel were detained and taken for questioning. No Iraqi or coalition forces were injured during the incident.

A day earier, several other operations yielded similar successes.

-- Iraqi army soldiers conducted a maritime operation, seizing explosives and weapons during a sweep of river banks and caves near Rawah, on the Euphrates River. With coalition forces present as advisors, Iraqi forces recovered more than 70 pounds of homemade explosives, one 57 mm rocket, and a sniper rifle.

-- Paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team uncovered a weapons cache north of Sadr City. A tip from a local led the soldiers to the cache, which contained 20 107 mm rocket warheads, three fully assembled 107 mm rockets, one 60 mm mortar, and a sandbag full of blasting devices.

In other news from Iraq, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers captured two men attempting to emplace an improvised explosive device on a major road near Dubai on May 31. Soldiers from Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment were conducting a mounted patrol and caught the two men attempting to emplace the IED.

Elsewhere, soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team caught the suspected triggerman of a roadside-bomb attack during a raid May 31 in Baghdad’s Adhamiyah district. The suspect was captured during an early-morning raid on a residence in the Safina neighborhood. The raid was conducted by Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment. Two other suspects also were taken into custody.

The suspect is believed to be responsible for detonating a roadside bomb that killed one soldier and wounded three others May 14. He also is reported to have ties to al Qaeda in Iraq operations in the area.

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

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