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Soldier Killed in Attack; Troops Nab Suspects, Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2006 – A U.S. soldier was killed in Iraq today, and coalition and Iraqi forces detained 42 suspected terrorists and discovered weapons caches, officials in Iraq reported today.

The soldier was killed when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb while conducting a combat patrol southeast of Karbala.

The soldier's name is being withheld until the family is notified. This incident is under investigation.

Elsewhere in Iraq, coalition and Iraqi forces detained 42 suspected terrorists and seized several weapons caches in operations during the last two days.

Iraqi security and coalition forces successfully identified and removed three roadside bombs, uncovered two weapons caches and detained three suspects in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division's area of operations, officials said.

The caches consisted of hand grenades, grenade fuses, rocket-propelled grenades, RPG propellers, 7.62 mm rounds, two AK-47 assault rifles, AK-47 magazines, 7.62 mm AK-47 rounds, 7.62 mm NATO rounds, a Iraqi protective mask, a bolt action rifle, 100 mm rounds and a 130 mm round.

Elements of 4th Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, working with 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, and 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, both of 4th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, identified three roadside bombs near Iskandariyah while conducting combat patrols in the area.

Soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, and 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, disrupted a terrorist staging area yesterday morning southwest of Baghdad.

The soldiers, acting on intelligence that the insurgent cell had been stocking munitions and weapons to prepare for future attacks, air assaulted into the village of Owesat under the cover of darkness. More than 39 detainees were seized, including five suspects considered to be high-value targets. The soldiers also found several caches in and around the village containing 155 mm artillery rounds, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, RPG rounds, hand grenades, blasting caps, rolls of detonation cord, a mortar, a heavy machinegun, explosive powder and several hundred rounds of machinegun rounds. "This was a well-planned and -executed mission," said Army Col. Jeffrey Snow, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, and the air assault commander for the mission. "We believe, as a result (of the mission), we have thwarted a significant attack that the insurgents had been preparing for."

The success of the mission reinforces the importance of people coming forward and reporting insurgent activity, Snow said.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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