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Arrowhead Ripper update: Baqouba residents return to work

Multi-National Force-Iraq

Saturday, 14 July 2007
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

RELEASE No. 20070714-03
July 14, 2007

Arrowhead Ripper update: Baqouba residents return to work

Multi-National Division – North PAO

BAQOUBA, Iraq – Baqouba residents are returning to work and coalition and Iraqi ground forces continue to make significant seizures twenty-four days into Operation Arrowhead Ripper.

More than 100 workers and 50 security guards returned to work July 11 at Diyala Electrical Industry because of increased security. DEI repairs and manufactures a wide variety of products essential for power distribution and is Baqouba’s largest company, capable of employing nearly 3,000 people. The company has already repaired a generator for the local government to install and use.

The Iraqi army is providing combat power throughout Baqouba as Arrowhead Ripper continues. More than 700 soldiers, mostly from 1st Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division are working alongside units from the 1-12th Combined Arms Battalion and 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment.

During the last 48 hours, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment seized a large weapons cache containing more than 20 60mm mortars, four rocket propelled grenades and launcher materials. The 1-12 CAB units have located and destroyed two al-Qaeda in Iraq field hospitals, a torture room, a headquarters facility, and multiple IED’s.

“We have only completed the first phase of the liberation of the people of Baqouba from the grip of al-Qaeda,” said Col. Steve Townsend, commander of the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. “There is still much work to do here, but Baqouba is no longer al-Qaeda’s capital in Iraq, and the citizens in much of the city are gradually returning to a safer and more normal way of life.”

Since the beginning of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, 60 al-Qaida operatives have been confirmed killed and 224 have been detained. Coalition and Iraqi forces have also eliminated 133 improvised explosive devices and destroyed 24 booby-trapped structures.



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