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Troops Seize Weapons, Suspects in Iraq Operations

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2005 – Task Force Baghdad soldiers in Iraq seized three weapons caches on an island along the Tigris River near the city's Al Rashid district July 1, according to military officials.

Around 7:30 a.m., soldiers from 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment (Air Assault), conducted an air insertion mission dubbed Operation Demon Digger, and found three weapons caches. The caches contained 16 rocket-propelled grenades, eight 60 mm mortar rounds and large amounts of 7.62 mm ammunition. An explosive ordnance detachment team conducted a controlled detonation of the cache.

Later, an operation in eastern Al Rashid netted another weapons cache. Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, found a cache containing an AK-47 assault rifle, six grenades with no blasting caps, more than 10 boxes of ammunition, circuit breakers, and fuses. The soldiers also captured seven terror suspects in the operation. Five of the seven detainees were turned over to Iraqi police because of suspected involvement in an earlier shooting incident.

Elsewhere, the soldiers of Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, attached to the 256th Brigade Combat Team, uncovered a significant weapons cache in western Abu Ghraib.

The cache was found in a house near where a roadside bomb maker and triggerman were detained two days earlier. The cache consisted of an SA-7 surface-to-air missile, two anti-armor missiles, several RPGs and warheads, AK-47s, homemade grenade launchers, a mortar tube and other munitions that could be used to conduct attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces, officials said. In other news from Iraq, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces were involved in a combined joint show of force during offensive operations near the town of Mishahda at 9:40 a.m. July 1.

The operation used all aspects of combined land warfare, including AH-64 Apache helicopters, U.S. Air Force aircraft and ground forces from Task Force Baghdad, officials said.

All ordnance was detonated outside of the urban or built-up areas. The bombing was to demolish military equipment used during the previous regime. The equipment was destroyed with no civilian casualties or damage to property outside the targeted area.

In other developments, coalition and Iraqi forces responded to a report of a fire at the Karkh water treatment plant north of Baghdad at about 6:45 a.m. July 1. They discovered the power distribution control room on fire. Iraqi firemen responded to the scene and extinguished the initial fire. Officials also discovered unexploded ordnance in the damaged area.

Baghdad Water Authority officials restricted access to the site, and Task Force Baghdad Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams destroyed the remaining ordnance.

Iraqi security forces and coalition forces are investigating the incident, while Coalition and Iraqi engineers collaborate to head off a water shortage in Baghdad. The Karkh facility is responsible for 65 percent of Baghdad's water supply.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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