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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Forces, Iraqi Forces Capture Terrorists, Seize Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2008 – Coalition and Iraqi forces captured suspected terrorists and seized several weapons caches across Iraq during the past three days, military officials said.

In operations today:

–- Iraqi soldiers discovered a large weapons cache in the Rashid district of Baghdad. The cache consisted of scores of 122 mm rockets with fuses, components to make several hundred explosively formed projectiles, blocks of C-4 explosives, and sticks of TNT.

During operations yesterday:

–- Iraqi soldiers discovered a large explosives cache after an intelligence-driven raid on the western side of Mosul. The cache consisted of 80 mm mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades, RPG launchers, a 60 mm mortar tube with stand and various other munitions. The cache was found in a hotspot of indirect fires against the Iraqi security and coalition forces.

-- Other Iraqi soldiers of the discovered a huge cache in Baghdad’s West Rashid district. The cache contained 90 rockets, nine mortars, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, 13 improvised mines, eight grenades, 16 rolls of detonation cord, 11 half-pound blocks of TNT, 32 blocks of C-4 explosive.

In addition the cache contained five complete EFP improvised explosive devices, 213 EFP bodies, an unmanned aerial vehicle, six electronic timers, two passive infrared switches, 500 pounds of ball bearings, 100 toggle switches, 88 fuses, nine 12-volt batteries, 10 camera flashes, eight digital timers with magnets, 200 CDs, 100 flyers, two mortar aiming stakes, 12 digital timers, and an odometer.

"Taking such an enormous amount of weapons and munitions out of the hands of militants and extremists severely degrades their ability to harm the citizens of Iraq and the Iraqi Security and Coalition Forces,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Stover, spokesman, Multi-National Division - Baghdad and the 4th Infantry Division.

Earlier in the day, Iraqi soldiers confiscated 14 AK-47 assault rifles, a Siminov sniper rifle, and a heavy machine gun in the Kadhamiyah district of Baghdad.

The same day, an Iraqi civilian turned over a weapons cache to soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade. The cache consisted of 17 mortar rounds of Soviet origin and in serviceable condition.

The “Sons of Iraq” citizens security group turned in a complete 82mm mortar system in West Rashid to soldiers of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, at approximately 6:50 p.m. June 14. The system was in operable condition and believed to have been used for indirect fire attacks against Coalition Forces and the Iraqi populace.

-- Iraqi National Police and coalition soldiers of Multi-National Division – Baghdad seized weapons caches throughout Baghdad in separate operations.

Soldiers of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team found four buried improvised explosive devices in the Kadamiya district of Baghdad.

U.S. Soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, seized three rocket propelled grenades and 30 pounds of homemade explosive in the Baghdad’s West Rashid district. Meanwhile, Iraqi policemen seized 27 AK-47's, three assault rifles, a Mauser rifle and a 60 mm tube with bipod north of Baghdad.

In the New Baghdad district of Baghdad, soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division’s 4th Brigade found a weapons cache consisting of eight AK-47 magazines, an AK-47 assault riflt, a backup battery system, a rocket propelled grenade round, a grenade, an 82 mm mortar encased in concrete and body armor.

In June 13 operations:

–- Iraqi soldiers uncovered a large weapons cache in the Khadamiya district of Baghdad. The cache contained 30 sets of body armor, improvised explosive devices, explosively formed projectiles, 107 mm rockets, rocket-propelled grenades, sticks of C-4 explosives, 120 mm mortar rounds, 82 mm mortar rounds, 81 mm mortar rounds, 60 mm mortar rounds, mortar tubes, anti-personnel mines, pounds of homemade explosives, and various wires, fuses and detonation cords.

–- Local citizens’ tips led Iraqi and coalition forces to sizeable weapons caches over the last two weeks in and around the city of Balad.

“The items found in these caches could have been used in future small-arms fire, indirect fire or improvised explosive device attacks,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Hauerwas, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division executive officer. Anti-tank grenades, rocket-propelled grenade rounds, sniper rifles and 10,000 light machine gun rounds were among the seized weapons.

–- Iraqi Army and Multinational Division - Baghdad soldiers seized numerous weapons throughout Baghdad including nearly 500 AK-47 rifles.

–- Soldiers of the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team, acting on a tip from the “Sons of Iraq” citizen security group, seized scores of 60 mm mortars in the Rusafa district of Baghdad.

The combat team’s soldiers also detained a suspected criminal leader in the Karadah security district of Baghdad. The criminal was highly sought after and suspected of leading more than 2,000 “special group” militants. Military officials said the suspect is believed to be a high-ranking member of an outlaw organization directly responsible for roadside bombs, murders, kidnappings, and rocket and mortar attacks.

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

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