Iraqi, Coalition Forces Continue Crackdown
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jul. 26, 2005 Coalition military and Iraqi security forces continue to crack down on anti-government forces in Iraq, hoping to suppress attacks against U.S. and coalition forces and Iraqi citizens, according to military officials in Baghdad.
In northern Iraq, soldiers from Task Force Freedom detained seven suspected terrorists and seized a large weapons cache in Rawah on July 25. The cache included 40 rockets, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, artillery rounds, various explosives and explosive charges. Hundreds of rounds of small-arms and machine-gun ammunition and a machine gun also were seized.
Iraqi SWAT team members, on a combined patrol with coalition advisers, secured valuable intelligence from a local citizen, leading to the capture of 22 suspected terrorists July 25. The combined patrol was designed to enforce the Yusafiyah curfew. When Hillah SWAT team officers stopped a citizen violating the established curfew, the Iraqi offered information about Egyptian bomb builders operating in the area in exchange for his freedom.
The SWAT team and coalition advisers followed informant's instructions and found and detained three Egyptian males at the location. As the patrol was leaving the area, the convoy was ambushed with an improvised explosive device, small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. The convoy returned fire, killing an estimated four to five enemy combatants. No Iraqi or coalition casualties were reported. The patrol resulted in the capture of 22 suspected terrorists, including eight Egyptians.
Also July 25, three more terrorism suspects were detained during a separate cordon-and-search operation in eastern Mosul. Iraqi police in Mansuriyah found a roadside bomb consisting of two anti-tank rounds wired together and armed with a remote-control detonator. Police in Baqubah found and disposed of a 155 mm projectile. In Abayach, Iraqi police secured the area where one kilogram of TNT was found. An Iraqi explosive ordnance disposal team assisted in clearing all three sites.
Iraqi police battled terrorists driving in a car near the Borsa Market on July 25, engaging shooters armed with two AK-47 assault rifles. The terrorists were wounded, and were taken to a hospital under guard. Police officials believe the same vehicle was involved in July 24 attacks at a Pepsi factory.
The military also reported that Iraqi and coalition forces arrested 42 individuals suspected of terrorist activity during raids in northern Iraq, and three suspected terrorists were arrested near the Syrian border on July 24.
In Baghdad, Iraqi police and Task Force Baghdad soldiers responding to an attack killed four terrorists and captured nine others July 23. Three terrorists were wounded, officials said.
In separate incidents July 23, U.S. forces conducting cordon-and-search operations in southwestern Baghdad found two IEDs attached to the front door of a home. An explosives team disabled the bombs. Once inside the home, soldiers found a man who apparently was killed after the suicide vest he was wearing detonated by mistake.
Also on July 23, three terrorists were wounded and later detained and taken to a medical facility after they attacked a coalition convoy in southwestern Baghdad. The men, traveling in a minivan, fired on the convoy with an AK-47.
In north Baghdad July 23, an Iraqi citizen led Task Force Baghdad soldiers to a roadside bomb along a major highway. At the site, soldiers found what looked like an antenna sticking out of a cement block. A man watching nearby was detained for questioning after soldiers noticed him acting suspiciously. The man was carrying a pistol and a cell phone that can be used to detonate a roadside bomb.
In central Baghdad, an individual who sped toward a military convoy after being warned by Task Force Baghdad soldiers to stay away was arrested July 23 for questioning. Soldiers found a loaded AK-47 and spent ammunition in his car.
Also on July 23, Task Force Baghdad soldiers found two weapons caches. The first, in a house in southern Baghdad, contained a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, an AK-47, three rifle magazines and two bayonets. Two people in the house at the time of the search were detained. The second cache contained numerous rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 assault rifles. Two suspects were detained at that site.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq and Task Force Baghdad news releases.)