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Operations in Iraq Net 26 Suspects, Weapons Caches

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2006 – Raids near Salman Pak, Iraq, yesterday resulted in the detention of suspected terrorists, and U.S. forces discovered a significant weapons cache Feb. 3, Multinational Force Iraq officials said today.

Iraqi special forces led the nighttime raid near Salman Pak, south of Baghdad.

About 100 Iraqi soldiers, supported by coalition forces, participated. The operation was designed to disrupt and capture wanted terrorists reportedly running a terrorist training camp and planning to launch attacks against Ashura Pilgrims traveling toward Karbala.

A search of the buildings led to a cache consisting of AK-47 assault rifles and AK-47 magazines and the detention of about 26 suspects.

Iraqi soldiers and coalition forces continue to search and clear the area of remaining caches and improvised explosive devices. Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers discovered a weapons cache Feb. 3, adding to a series of caches discovered in the past week.

While conducting a combat patrol, soldiers with 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, received a tip from an Iraqi citizen about the location of a possible weapons cache site.

Responding to the tip, the unit searched the area and uncovered multiple weapons, munitions and explosives. An explosives team conducted a controlled detonation to destroy the cache.

The detonation exposed a false floor beneath the original site, which yielded more weapons and munitions. The explosives team conducted a second controlled detonation of the explosives.

After both detonations and a complete search of the area, the unit uncovered 120 mm mortar rounds, 160 mm mortar rounds, 155 mm mortar rounds, a shape charge, 122 mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades, a mortar base plate, 81 mm mortar rounds, 2.5-inch rockets, 61 mm mortar rounds and other bomb-making materials.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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