Task Force Baghdad Secures Car-Bomb Site
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jul. 9, 2005 Task Force Baghdad soldiers secured a site about 15 kilometers north of Baghdad after a terrorist detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device July 8.
Four soldiers were injured in the attack and were evacuated to a medical facility.
The car-bomb driver approached the task force patrol from the rear and struck the back of the trail vehicle before detonating.
Military officials report that several shops in the area were damaged by the blast.
"The terrorists continue to show their disregard for the Iraqi people and the sovereignty of the Iraqi nation. In this particular attack, the suicide car bomber burned down a series of shops in Sheik Amir Village," said Col. David Bishop, commander of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division.
The incident is under investigation.
In two separate incidents, also on July 8 in east Baghdad, Iraqis turned the tables and took a deliberate stand against terror.
In the first incident, a local citizen observed terrorists placing a roadside bomb and provided a tip to the Iraqi police. The police responded, cordoned off the area and coordinated with the 720th Military Police Battalion and a coalition explosive ordnance disposal team to disable the bomb. EOD safely destroyed the bomb with a controlled detonation.
The improvised explosive device consisted of a 125 mm tank round with a remote-controlled device.
The second incident occurred when an Iraqi civilian provided information on an illegal weapons dealer.
Elements of 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, responded and captured the weapons dealer who possessed a sniper rifle, a submachine gun and three AK-47 rifles.
"Once again, the people of Iraq have shown they will not tolerate anti-Iraqi forces operating in their neighborhoods," said Staff Sgt. Craig Zentkovich, 2nd Brigade Combat Team spokesman.
On July 7, Iraqi police patrolling in Baghdad's Ghazaliyah area stopped a suspected vehicle-borne IED carrying three suspected terrorists.
After police secured the site around the car, the vehicle ran past police barriers and into a nearby police compound.
The police opened fire on the vehicle, killing all three occupants before they could detonate the car bomb. One compound guard reported he'd seen one terrorist trying to trigger a detonation device before being shot.
Upon closer inspection of the vehicle, police discovered four 55-gallon drums connected to the car battery. The drums contained 600 pounds of homemade explosives, said Task Force Baghdad officials.
The drums were later destroyed in a controlled detonation by a Task Force Baghdad EOD team.
"Thanks to some quick-thinking Iraqi police, many lives were saved tonight," said Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, Task Force Baghdad spokesman. "This is just one more example of the firm stance Iraqi people and their security forces are taking against terrorism."
That same day in East Baghdad's Zafaraniya district, a resident reported the location of two 155-millimeter artillery rounds to a patrol from 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
1st Lt. Terry J. Rivera, the patrol leader, immediately recognized these artillery rounds as the same type used by terrorists to make roadside and car bombs.
Rivera cordoned off the area for the safety of the local population and called in an EOD, which detonated the 100-pound rounds with no damage to local property or residents.
"The local Iraqi comments about increased security due to improved (Iraqi security force) capability and resolve are not empty statements," said Lt. Col. Steven Merkel, 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery's commander. "The common citizen is now stepping forward and helping the Iraqi security forces and coalition forces win the right for their families to walk the streets in peace.
"The destruction of these potential IEDs due to the information provided by a Zafaraniya resident is a living example of this increase in security," Merkel added. "Their willingness to help shows great promise for the future of Iraq."
In the past two months, the Iraqi 2nd Public Order Brigade, along with the U.S. Field Artillery's 1st battalion, conducted eight joint operations targeting anti-Iraqi forces.
Military officials said that while these operations produced some immediate results, the long-term effects are just now beginning to be felt.
In other news, Marines from 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 8, detained 22 suspected terrorists during targeted raid operations near Fallujah.
Operation Scimitar, also known as Operation Qmtia, began July 7th in Zaidon, 30 kilometers southeast of Fallujah. About 100 Iraqi soldiers and 500 U.S. Marines are conducting security operations to deny anti-Iraqi sanctuary for planning, training and storing ammunition.
The operation follows a series of counter-terrorism operations initiated by Marines in Al Anbar, Iraq. These operations are designed to disrupt terrorist activity.
The last large-scale Marine Operation Saif, or Sword, was conducted in the Hit-Haditha corridor June 28 to July 7.
(Compiled from Task Force Baghdad and Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)