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420 Detainees Released; Weapons Caches Found, Destroyed

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2006 – About 420 detainees, including five women, were to be released from coalition detention facilities in Iraq today and tomorrow, officials announced.

The Iraqi-led Combined Review and Release Board reviewed the detainees' cases and recommended that they be released. The board, established in August 2004, consists of members from the ministries of Human Rights, Justice and Interior, as well as officers from the multinational forces, officials noted. To date, the board has reviewed the cases of more than 26,900 detainees, recommending more than 14,100 individuals for release.

In other news, Iraqi soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division, raided a home in Tal Afar, where they found and arrested two men and seized a weapons cache yesterday, officials said. The cache consisted of a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher, five RPG rounds, rocket propellants, three AK-47 assault rifles, a shotgun, and assorted ammunition.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, and coalition forces discovered nine weapons caches while conducting patrols along the Euphrates River yesterday. The caches included of four 107 mm rockets, one 120 mm rocket, one 122 mm rocket, eight 120 mm rocket warheads, a rocket launcher bipod, six 14.5 mm rounds, 12 23 mm rounds, 329 .50 caliber rounds, 40 25 mm rounds, 16 rocket-propelled-grenade warheads, 37 RPG rockets, a blasting cap, five grenade fuses, 81 120 mm mortar fuses, one TNT high-explosive round, two 160 mm canister charges, 90 pounds of propellant, and two pounds of explosives.

Task Force Band of Brothers soldiers have recorded several successes in recent days:

  • Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team saw three men drive up to a site and watched one man place an improvised explosive device, composed of two artillery shells, in a hole alongside the road. The soldiers wounded the man with rifle fire, but he managed to get back into the vehicle. With the help of the Iraqi police, the unit stopped the vehicle before it could escape the area. The wounded terrorist was treated at a nearby military medical facility.
  • Soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team detained two men during a raid on a suspected terrorist house in Mosul early yesterday. They also uncovered weapons and al Qaeda propaganda.
  • Another 172nd combat patrol detained a man yesterday as he attempted to flee from an Iraqi army patrol. The soldiers searched the man's home and his two sisters' adjacent home, where they discovered a cache of artillery shells and a propane tank rigged to explode. An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the explosives in a nearby field.
  • Band of Brothers soldiers detained four men after finding bomb-making materials in their vehicle Jan. 24 near Samarra. Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team spotted a suspicious vehicle west of the city. When the soldiers stopped the car and searched the vehicle, they found numerous IED components. The vehicle and the components tested positive for explosives residue.
Iraqi security forces and Task Force Band of Brothers soldiers jointly detained 51 suspected terrorists during a series of unrelated actions Jan. 24.

  • In the largest action of the day, Iraqi troops from the 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, planned and conducted a large early morning raid in three villages outside of Baqubah. The unit detained 19 suspects, including eight known to have strong ties to terrorists in the area.
  • In the Bayji area, soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team captured 10 known or suspected terrorists.
  • Tips from Bayji area residents generated a series of early morning searches south of the city. Four men closely tied to a terrorist ring responsible for committing murders and beheadings in the area were captured. A fifth man was killed after firing a pistol at the soldiers searching his home.
  • A local tribal leader brought three suspected members of an IED cell from the Bayji area to a coalition base and turned them in to coalition forces.

(From Multinational Force Iraq and Task Force Band of Brothers news releases.)

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