Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Police, Soldiers Respond to Explosions Near Baghdad Mosques

Dec. 13, 2006 – Iraqi police responded to several explosions at both Sunni and Shiite mosques in Baghdad today. A car bomb exploded across the street from the Kamalia mosque, a Shiite mosque in the New Baghdad section of eastern Baghdad, around 9:45 a.m.

Forces from 4th Brigade, 1st National Police Division, supported by coalition forces, were on the scene for support. U.S. soldiers from 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, were also called for support to conduct a damage assessment on the mosque, U.S. officials said.

Later in the day, U.S. soldiers from 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, responded after hearing an explosion at the al-Samouri mosque, a Sunni mosque in the eastern part of the city, not far from the Kamalia mosque. The soldiers had been conducting operations nearby. The patrol confirmed that two car bombs detonated in the street.

The unit assisted the Iraqi police in securing the area and reported that the explosions did not damage the mosque.

Elsewhere today, coalition forces detained six suspected
terrorists and seized a weapons cache near Tikrit while seeking a terrorist associated with al Qaeda in Iraq. Intelligence reports also indicated that insurgents were producing improvised explosive devices in the targeted area.

When ground forces searched the targeted building, they discovered a weapons cache consisting of machine guns, pistols, rocket-propelled-grenade boosters, and a sniper-rifle scope. The forces also found the equivalent of more than $200,000 in Iraqi dinar and more than $160,000 in U.S. currency.

In other news from Iraq, an Iraqi
army patrol accompanied by coalition forces discovered three vehicle bombs in the Mansour district of western Baghdad yesterday. Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, teamed with U.S. soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, were searching a building when they found one car bomb and two motorcycle bombs. They also discovered additional vehicle-bomb-making materials and five rifles. An explosive ordnance disposal team disabled the bombs.

A day earlier, Iraqi troops from 2nd Battalion, 6th Iraqi Army Division, arrested five suspected
terrorists for criminal activity near a pharmacy college in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of Rusafa on Dec. 11. The Iraqi unit was sent out to investigate a report of the kidnapping of several university students. During the patrol, the soldiers spotted and detained five men engaged in illegal activity at the university.

The men were armed with pistols and ammunition. The men also had fake university
police badges. The detainees said they were university police, but were spotted carrying weapons, and the car they were using had civilian license plates.

Also on Dec. 11, an Iraqi National Police sentry destroyed a suicide car bomb as it attempted to enter the police barracks in Baghdad's Jazar neighborhood. Brig. Gen. Ghazwan Sharif Abd-al-Hamid, the national
police commander in the area, said a blue van approached the entrance to the barracks during the morning attack and failed to stop when the sentry signaled it to do so. The sentry fired into the speeding van, which ran into two parked police vehicles and exploded.

police officers were injured and two police vehicles destroyed in the attack. Officials estimated ¬that the van contained more than 300 pounds of explosives.

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