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Terror Suspects Detained, Iraqis Take Charge in Southwest Baghdad

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2006 – Recent operations in Iraq have netted more terrorism suspects and weapons, and the Iraqi military has assumed responsibility for an area in southwest Baghdad, military officials reported.

During a cordon and search mission in a village near Kifl yesterday, soldiers of the 8th Iraqi Army Division and coalition forces detained three suspected terrorists.

Information gathered from intelligence sources allowed the combined force to narrow their focus to target three houses in the village. The Iraqi soldiers searched the homes and detained the suspected terrorists, while soldiers of 2nd Brigade Combat Team cordoned off the area.

The three men detained were suspected of being members of a bomb-making cell responsible for the deaths of numerous innocent civilians and Iraqi and coalition forces. After questioning, two detainees were kept for further interrogation and one was released.

Iraqi 8th Army Division and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers teamed up to capture suspected terrorists June 15 in an area near Scania in southern Babil province.

The Iraqi soldiers searched for terrorists in two homes near Ash Shumali, while Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, provided the outer cordon.

The homes were targeted based on intelligence gathered through various sources, including tips from area residents. The terrorist cell is connected with several roadside bomb attacks in May that caused the deaths of a number of Iraqi civilians and Iraqi and coalition forces, officials said.

The Iraqi team searched the first house without incident and found detonation cord, blasting caps, a bomb initiation system, a set of binoculars, a sniper rifle, a pistol, a rifle with full magazine and a sword. The cache discovery resulted in the detention of the homeowner.

Iraqi soldiers entered the second house without resistance, finding five men, four of whom were sleeping on the roof. During the search of the house, Iraqi soldiers found a machine gun hidden under blankets in a storage room and a partially constructed bomb, consisting of a metallic cylinder, blasting cap and detonation cord.

An Army explosive ordnance detachment removed the bomb to a safe area and conducted a controlled detonation.

Iraqi soldiers also found a 7.62 mm bolt-action rifle with full magazine and various bomb-making materials and detained all five suspects.

At an "Iraqis in the Lead" ceremony June 15 on patrol base Lutifiyah, soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, assumed responsibility for the Lutifiyah area of southwest Baghdad from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. Local sheiks and the mayor of Mahmudiyah were also in attendance during the ceremony.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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