War on Terrorism

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Nine Terrorists Detained in Iraq; Multiple Weapons Caches Found

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2006 – Coalition and Iraqi forces have detained nine suspected terrorists and discovered numerous weapons caches over the past several days, U.S. military officials reported. Iraqi police from 8th Brigade, 2nd National Police Division, along with soldiers from Multinational Division Baghdad's 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, detained seven suspected terrorists and discovered three weapons caches during a search in Baghdad's Doura neighborhood today.

The caches included rifles, ammunition, 82 mm mortar rounds, blasting caps, suicide bomber propaganda, a 122 mm artillery round, a rocket-propelled grenade, grenade rockets, unknown rockets, plastic explosives, various other bomb-making materials, and cell-phones, one rigged as a timing device. A video camera and tapes also were discovered. The tapes contained video of tortures and mortars being launched. Explosive ordnance disposal teams destroyed the munitions.

Elsewhere, Iraqi police from 2nd Battalion, 7th Brigade, 2nd National Police Division, and soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, detained two suspected terrorist bomb makers at a makeshift bomb-device production site during a cordon-and-search operation of the Bayaa car market in the Rasheed district of Baghdad July 4. The two suspects were taken into custody for questioning.

The combined patrol conducted the operation to disrupt the production of makeshift bomb devices in the region, which is in an area historically high in the occurrence of terrorist attacks, military officials said. During the search of the market, the forces discovered a large cache that consisted of various bomb-making materials, 62 mm sniper rounds, 7.62 mm AK-47 rifle rounds, 7.62 mm shell casings, 3.5 pounds of explosive compound, a rocket-propelled grenade, 10-inch mortar rounds, pipe bombs, and a 75 mm rocket.

In addition, police from the 4th Brigade, 1st National Police Division, foiled an attempt by five suspected terrorists attempting to steal a national police vehicle July 4 in southern Baghdad. After an exchange of small-arms gunfire, the suspects fled the area. No casualties or damage were reported. A day earlier, the Headquarters Platoon of Troop A, 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Multinational Division Baghdad, recovered three makeshift rocket launchers near Jurf Al-Nedaaf July 3 after receiving a tip from an Iraqi citizen.

One of the launchers found had a rocket loaded in the tube and appeared to have been aimed at the 4th Battalion, 1st National Police Division headquarters. Explosive ordnance disposal personnel recovered and disarmed the rocket. "While it's not a huge cache, it was an Iraqi citizen that informed us of it. That in itself is a big deal because it shows the Iraqi people don't support the insurgency," Army Capt. Ivan Anaya, commander of Troop A, said.

In other news from Iraq, Iraqi security forces with support from coalition forces searched a hospital July 5 in northern Ramadi. Iraqi and coalition forces have received sniper fire from the hospital on multiple occasions, and credible intelligence reports indicated the hospital was being used as an insurgent safe haven and command center. The combined force did not meet any resistance, and no civilian or military injuries were reported as a result of the search. One weapons cache was found with bomb making material. No hospital services were interrupted by the search, and the hospital is now open to the public, officials said.

"I am very pleased that the insurgents did not choose to create a fight at the hospital," said Col. Sean B. MacFarland, commander of all coalition forces in the Ramadi area. "We went there with overwhelming numbers but with the intention of using the absolute minimum force necessary to clear out any insurgents who may still have been there." Iraqi police units are in the process of assuming primary responsibility for hospital security to facilitate its return to normal operations in support of all of the people of Ramadi, MacFarland said.

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