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Coalition Soldiers Kill Six Insurgents, Seize Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2006 – Coalition forces killed six insurgents, wounded four and netted five sniper rifles yesterday in the Euphrates River city of Hit, Iraq, military officials reported.

Officials said the troops positively identified 10 men conducting insurgent activity in a parking lot prior to engaging them with “a heavy volume of fire.”

The insurgents were gathered around a car while distributing black masks, AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers to one another, officials said.

After the engagement, a search of the vehicles yielded five sniper rifles, three sniper rifle magazines, 11 AK-47 assault rifles and 19 AK-47 magazines, three rocket-propelled grenades with launchers, an RPK machine gun, two PKC machine guns, a video camera, a bullet-proof vest with protective plates, two hand grenades, seven load bearing vests and eight black masks.

The engagement “reduced the sniper threat in Hit by a considerable margin,” said Army Lt. Col. Thomas Graves, commanding officer for the Friedburg, Germany-based 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment.

“We will take advantage of this opportunity by continuing our efforts to develop Iraqi army and Iraqi police forces within Hit,” he added. The battalion is the unit responsible for training Iraqi security forces and providing security to the city of Hit.

Coalition forces evacuated the four wounded insurgents to a nearby U.S. military medical facility for treatment. No report was available on their condition.

Hit is a city of about 60,000 located 35 miles northwest of Ramadi in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province.

In other news from Iraq, Iraqi army and coalition force soldiers captured a suspected arms dealer as well as 15 other individuals yesterday during a raid near Sadiyah, Iraq, after receiving tips from local citizens.

Soldiers from the Iraqi army’s 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 5th Division, and 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning, were transported to the area via helicopter early yesterday morning.

The mission followed a roadside bomb attack that killed three soldiers from 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion. Local Iraqis provided intelligence to coalition forces on those responsible for the attack, which enabled the soldiers to identify and capture the suspects.

“We were real happy out there,” said 1st Lt. Alan Boyes, tank platoon leader, Company C, 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion. “The (Iraqi army) was able to cooperate and participate. They went in on the air assault as well. They did their part just like we did ours. They were a little bit more excited with this being their first time. They did a good job to clear the objective.”

The Iraqi unit commander agreed. “It’s a really successful mission, and my soldiers really enjoy it, and they’re doing a good job,” said Iraqi Army Capt. Naafarl Hameed, Company A commander, through an interpreter. “We hope that we can use helicopters a lot in our missions, because it is really fast.”

There were no coalition or civilian casualties during this mission, officials said.

Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers discovered two large weapons caches in western Baghdad over the weekend.

Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, attached to MND-B, found a large weapons cache in western Baghdad at approximately 11 p.m. Oct. 21. The cache contained 64 rifle grenades, 24 60 mm mortar rounds, 19 155 mm fuses, six missiles, a helicopter rocket, a homemade bomb, 13 130 mm fuses, seven sticks of C4 explosive, eight blocks of TNT, two cans of 7.62 mm ammunition and 700 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition.

Later, soldiers from 2nd BCT discovered a second cache in western Baghdad. The cache contained 11 300-pound bombs, a 500-pound bomb, a 250-pound bomb, 10 blocks of C4 explosive, 10 blasting caps, 20 rocket-propelled grenade rounds, five grenades, four RPG launchers, 35 anti-tank rounds, two 65 mm rockets, two 120 mm artillery rounds and a 25 mm artillery round.

An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the munitions.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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