WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2006 – An American soldier was killed Sept. 15 when the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad, according to U.S. officials. The soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
And, for the third time in four days, the enemy used mosques to launch attacks on Iraqi and U.S. security forces, U.S. officials reported. Soldiers from the 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, reported being attacked Sept. 16 by small-arms fire from the Genet al Meawa Mosque, south of Baghdad, near Mahmudiyah. Soldiers from Multinational Division Baghdad's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, moved into the area to support the besieged Iraqis.
Terrorists in Baghdad also fired at Iraqi security forces and U.S. soldiers from mosques twice before in recent days, on Sept. 12 and 13, officials said.
"We want to remind the Iraqi people that while U.S. soldiers respect the sanctity of mosques, those religious sites lose their protected status when terrorists use them in order to attack Iraqi security and coalition forces," Brig. Gen. David Halverson, deputy commanding general for support, Multinational Division Baghdad, said.
Terrorists also have been using Baghdad-area holy sites as bases for storing weapons and bomb-making materials and to hold death squad meetings, Halverson said.
And, Iraqi soldiers, police and a U.S. bomb-disposal unit teamed up Sept. 15 to eliminate an improvised explosive device threat in the town of Arab Jabur, south of Baghdad.
Iraqi national police officers responded to a report of an IED placed on a road near Arab Jabur and cordoned off the area. An EOD team arrived on the scene and conducted a controlled detonation to eliminate the threat.
U.S. soldiers also discovered a large munitions cache during a cordon-and-search operation conducted in northeast Baghdad Sept. 14. Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, discovered 42 155 mm rounds buried in an industrial dump. An EOD team blew up the confiscated munitions.
Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers also found another weapons cache in northeast Baghdad the same day. That cache contained 30 artillery rounds ranging in size from 122 mm to 155 mm. They disposed of the captured ordnance.
Since Sept. 14, Iraqi security forces and U.S. soldiers in Baghdad have cleared more than 55,500 buildings, including 60 mosques and 50 muhallas, detained more than 90 terrorist suspects, seized more than 1,200 weapons, registered over 780 weapons and found 33 weapons caches.
The combined forces also have replaced more than 1,100 doors, 35 windows and 1,350 locks damaged during clearing operations and removed more than 110,000 cubic meters of trash from the streets of Baghdad.