U.S. Air Force F-16 engaged in support of coalition ground combat operations crashed about 20 miles northwest of Baghdad today, and coalition and Iraqi forces killed two terrorists and detained 10 in separate operations Nov. 25 and yesterday, military officials reported. The crash occurred at about 1:35 p.m. Iraq Time with one pilot on board. A board will be convened to investigate the incident, officials said. By mid-afternoon Eastern Time, officials had not released any information on the fate of the F-16 pilot.
In Ramadi, coalition forces conducted a precision strike on insurgent forces after observing three men loading weapons from a known cache site into a vehicle yesterday.
After establishing positive identification, coalition forces fired precision ordnance at the vehicle, killing two terrorists. One terrorist was seen fleeing from the scene.
Elsewhere, soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, and Company D, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, detained 10 terrorist suspects and found a cache of improvised explosive device components near Taqa, a village on the banks of the Euphrates River southwest of Yusufiyah on Nov. 25.
The 10 Iraqi males were caught attempting to place roadside bombs along a route the U.S. forces were traveling. Upon questioning, the group identified a cache site. The cache contained two pressure plates, three portable phones, four six-foot bundles of wire and a 300-foot roll of copper wire.
The cache and detainees were seized as part of Operation Polar Black Diamond, a combined air assault into the former al Qaeda sanctuary about 20 miles southwest of Baghdad.
In another operation, Iraqi army and coalition forces were dispatched to the scene of an oil pipeline fire just north of Mahmudiyah this morning and secured the area.
The Iraqi army and coalition forces are at the site and will remain there to provide security and to prevent further injury or damage, officials said. Iraqi emergency responders are working to contain the fire.
The cause of the fire is unknown and is under investigation, officials said.
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