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Iraqi Army, U.S. Forces Detain 106, Discover Weapons Caches

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2006 – Iraqi and U.S. forces conducted raids on two targets in Iraq's Diyala province and a raid west of Baghdad that netted a total of 106 individuals and a weapons cache, Multinational Force Iraq officials said.

The 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, advised by U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers, conducted assaults on two targets Feb. 12 in Diyala. The troops detained 102 persons of interest - 25 were on the Iraqi security forces "most wanted" list. They also killed two insurgents and discovered a large weapons cache.

The combined Iraqi and U.S. forces cordon-and-search missions were designed to capture key insurgents and disrupt multiple insurgent cell operations. The targets were chosen based on intelligence that specific individuals wanted for planning and facilitating insurgent activities would be in the targets, officials said.

While beginning a search of the first target house, an Iraqi army assault team encountered four armed insurgents and came under heavy fire. Though the team was forced to withdraw outside of the house for cover, one of the team's sergeants stayed in the house, killing one insurgent and wounding two more before falling back to regroup with his team.

Those three insurgents were taken into custody. The two wounded detainees received immediate medical treatment, though one later died while en route to receive additional medical care.

A weapons cache discovered during the operations included a rocket, artillery and mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades and an RPG launcher, AK-47 assault rifles, and a collection of IED-making materials, including electrical wire and fuses.

One Iraqi army soldier was wounded by enemy small-arms fire during the operation. Iraqi and U.S. medical personnel treated him on the scene.

On Feb. 11, west of Baghdad, the Iraqi army's 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Division conducted its first full battalion-sized operation, netting four suspected insurgents.

The operation, advised by U.S. special operations forces, was a cordon-and-search mission designed to track insurgents and sweep for weapons caches.

None of the combined forces were killed or injured during the operation.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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