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Operation 'Arrowhead Ripper' continues in Baqouba

Multi-National Force-Iraq

Wednesday, 20 June 2007
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

RELEASE No. 20070620-01
June 20, 2007

Operation ‘Arrowhead Ripper’ continues in Baqouba
Multi-National Division – North PAO

BAQOUBA, Iraq – Task Force Lightning continued its offensive operation in and around the capital of Diyala province, Iraq, today as part of a powerful crack down on al-Qaida terrorists operating in the area.

U.S. and Iraqi combined forces engaged and killed at least 30 al-Qaida operatives, and discovered four IEDs emplaced in houses, and 10 buried IEDs during the first full day of Operation Arrowhead Ripper.

“These criminals will know no safe place to hide in Diyala,” said Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek, Deputy Command General for Operations, Task Force Lightning and Multinational Division North. “The people of Diyala are tired of the terror and violence these al-Qaida thugs have brought to their province and are cooperating with us in order to root them out.”

As the Soldiers moved through Baqouba and the surrounding areas, they discovered at least two weapons caches containing assault weapons, grenades, rocket launchers, large and small caliber ammunition and explosives. Ground forces also coordinated a precisions guided munitions strike to destroy a known al-Qaida weapons cache located inside a safe house, and reported a large secondary explosion due to the munitions the terrorists stored inside.

In another incident, Soldiers from Alpha Troop, 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment observed and engaged armed individuals emplacing an IED near Zaganiyah village, along the Diyala river valley.

The gunmen returned fire but the Soldiers, using direct and indirect fires, killed both of the armed IED emplacers.

“This operation is just beginning and we will continue to strike al-Qaida no matter where they hide and we won’t rest until the job is done,” said Bednarek.

Approximately 10,000 Soldiers throughout Diyala Province are participating in and supporting Operation Arrowhead Ripper, which was launched by Task Force Lightning to eliminate al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists. Included in this operation are over 1000 Iraqi Army soldiers and a comparable number of Iraqi Police.



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