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U.S. Soldier Killed in Baghdad; Operation River Gate Continues

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2005 – An American soldier was killed today by an improvised explosive device during a patrol in northern Baghdad. Elsewhere, Operation River Gate, in western Iraq, and other anti-insurgent operations across the country continue.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Sgt. 1st Class William Shook removes a 122 mm rocket tube from a weapons cache. Shook, a native of Kennewick, Wash., and other 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, soldiers unburied the weapons in a large cache found Sept. 28 about 30 miles northwest of Baghdad. Photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Bromley, USA

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The name of the deceased soldier is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. No further details were available.

In western Iraq, about 350 Iraqi soldiers and 2,000 U.S. Marines, soldiers and sailors from Regimental Combat Team 2 continued Operation Bawwabatu Annaher, River Gate in English, in the cities of Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana.

Six al Qaeda terrorists have been killed since River Gate began Oct. 4. About 110 men suspected of terrorist activity have been detained.

U.S. Marines detained a man in Barwana for possession of a mortar system early Oct. 5. At noon the same day, Iraqi security forces and U.S. Marines discovered a roadside bomb, consisting of two 155 mm artillery rounds, in Haditha. The bomb, the third of its type encountered in recent fighting, was destroyed in place without incident.

Operation River Gate started with predawn air strikes on the Dulab, Haditha and Barwana bridges, which span the Euphrates River. The strikes were designed to disable the bridges and limit the terrorists' ability to flee the cities, officials said.

During the operation, Iraqi soldiers are providing security for Haditha General Hospital's patients and personnel. The hospital is the largest medical facility in western Anbar province and was targeted in spring by a suicide car bomber. River Gate has not disrupted essential civilian services, such as electricity, water and access to medical care, officials said.

In other news, Iraqi and coalition forces captured 11 terror suspects and uncovered 14 weapons caches from Oct. 1 through Oct. 3 while conducting more than 1,500 patrols, manning nearly 900 traffic control points, and carrying out 71 raids and search operations to provide security and reduce terrorists' ability to plan and conduct attacks.

Iraqi soldiers and police carried out more than 1,000 of the nearly 2,500 operations without assistance from coalition forces. Iraqi security forces also took the lead on 91 combined operations conducted, with U.S. soldiers backing them up.

Iraqi police and coalition troops working together in central Baghdad Oct. 3 responded to a report of rockets being fired in the vicinity of the Iraqi Interior Ministry. Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, also helped search the area to find the origin of the rocket fire.

Within an hour, the Iraqi soldiers discovered a suspicious ice cream truck parked near a soccer stadium. A search of the vehicle revealed it to be a rocket-launching truck with 10 rocket pods in the back. The soldiers determined that four rockets had been recently fired from the truck.

Meanwhile, Iraqi police found a tunnel near the rocket truck. When the police investigated, they found a terror suspect hiding in a bunker at the end of the tunnel and took him into custody.

U.S. soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, found a large weapons cache and terrorist funds Oct. 2 during an early-morning patrol in the Sadr City district of eastern Baghdad. Around 4 a.m., the soldiers spied a heavy machine gun mounted on a vehicle parked in a garage. The patrol conducted a search of the house and found ammunition for the gun, bomb-making materials including 50 blasting caps and an igniter, grenades, and large amounts of ammunition for AK-47 assault rifles. The soldiers also found $280,000 in Iraqi currency, along with nearly $4,000 dollars in Syrian and U.S. currency.

American soldiers conducted another early-morning raid Oct. 2 to break up a terror cell operating in western Baghdad. The raid against the safe house, in the Saydiyah district, netted a physics professor allegedly working as an insurgent leader and seven more suspected terrorists.

U.S. soldiers from 1st Battalion, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, found five of the weapons caches in the same spot on Oct. 1. After discovering 25 mortar rounds hidden in western Baghdad, the unit fanned out to search the entire area. Half an hour later, the soldiers found a second cache 150 yards away, then a third cache between the other two. The soldiers continued to look and ended up finding two more caches. The five caches consisted of 64 mortar rounds, two mortar tubes, three rockets, three bombs, 20 rocket-propelled grenades, 12 hand grenades, and numerous handguns.

U.S. soldiers deployed near Taji continued to find hidden rockets, mortars, and rocket-propelled grenades near from a cache that was unearthed Sept. 28. The soldiers, from 70th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, have found more than 700 mortar rounds ranging from 60 mm to 120 mm, 700 rocket-propelled grenades, 100 rockets, and 51,000 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition. The soldiers also found several mortar tubes, various explosives, small arms, homemade rocket launchers, wires, and timing devices at the site, located about 30 kilometers northwest of Baghdad.

In the air war over Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 40 close-air-support and armed-reconnaissance sorties Oct. 5 for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

U.S. Air Force F-16s performed a strike in the vicinity of Husaybah. The F-16s expended two GBU-38 and two GBU-12 500-pound bombs against an insurgent safe house and weapons cache in support of Operation River Gate.

Other U.S. Air Force F-16s provided close air support to coalition troops in contact with anti-Iraqi forces in the vicinity of Karabilah. The F-16s expended two GBU-38s and two GBU-12s against buildings used by insurgents for firing positions and weapons storage.

In addition, 10 U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. U.S. Air Force and British Royal Air Force fighter aircraft also performed in a non-traditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Task Force Baghdad and U.S. Central Command Air Forces forward news releases.)

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Related Sites:
Multinational Force Iraq
U.S. Central Command Air Forces

Click photo for screen-resolution imageSoldiers from 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, uncovered munitions in a large weapons cache discovered about 30 kilometers northwest of Baghdad Sept. 28. Since the 70th Engineer Battalion started excavating, they have unearthed munitions ranging from 60 mm to 120 mm 700 rocket-propelled grenades, 100 rockets and 51,000 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition. Photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Bromley, USA   
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