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Iraqi, Multinational Forces Destroy Roadside Bombs, Find Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2006 – Iraqi army and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers found and destroyed 11 roadside bombs and three weapons caches during a 24-hour period this week, and conducted two major offensive operations resulting in the detention of 29 suspected terrorists, military officials reported.

Iraqi Special Troops Company and Macedonian Rangers executed Operation Level Sand this morning at 1 a.m. north of Baghdad to neutralize terrorist activity and destroy weapons caches in the area.

The operation netted 18 suspected terrorists and resulted in the confiscation of 10 AK-47 assault rifles and three pistols.

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 6th Iraqi Army Division, and 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, worked together to disrupt insurgent activity northwest of Baghdad in a combined cordon-and-search operation that began about 11:30 p.m. Feb. 15 and ended yesterday morning.

The 6th IA and 2-22 Infantry Regiment cordon-and-search operation netted 11 suspected terrorists and three weapons caches.

The first cache included rocket-propelled grenades, a Russian-made light anti-tank weapon, mortar rounds and tubes, light machine guns, an assault rifle, a surface-to-air missile, , 1,500 rounds of small-arms ammunition, powder charges and radios.

At the site of the cache, the Iraqi and U.S. soldiers found a terrain model, two fighting positions, and two underground tunnels, officials said.

The second weapons cache included a carbine rifle, armor-piercing rounds, RPG and small-arms rounds, explosives and fuses.

The third cache included mortars, anti-aircraft guns, two machine guns, rockets, mortar rounds, anti-tank rounds, RPG rounds, boosters and fuses, small-arms rounds, hand grenades, heavy machine-gun rounds, anti-aircraft roundsand gunpowder.

"We have the enemy on the run," said Lt. Col. Kevin Brown, commander, 2-22 Infantry Regiment. "The success we had in the inner city areas of Abu Ghraib the first six months in country caused the enemy to find sanctuary out here in the less populated urban areas.

"Now, with the Muthana Brigade of the Iraqi Army keeping the pressure on (the terrorists) in Abu Ghraib, and the establishment of Firebase Courage," he continued, "we've been able to stretch our operations further, and continue to reduce (terrorist) sanctuary and freedom of movement. Combined with the success achieved by Iraqi Special Forces in locating associated targets either in concert with or as a result of our operations - it's a complete team effort. We are winning."

(From a Multinational Division Baghdad news release.)

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