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Car Bomb Stopped Before Reaching Target; 12 Wounded in Explosion

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2005 – U.S. and Iraqi police and military personnel stopped a car bomb from reaching its intended target Oct. 4 in Baghdad's fortified International Zone, U.S. military officials in Iraq said.

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A vehicle burns outside one of the entrances of the International Zone in Baghdad Oct. 4 after a failed car bomb attack. Iraqi emergency response teams quickly contained the blaze. Army photo

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The car bomber still managed to wound 12 U.S. and Iraqi personnel. Officials said the probable target was either an Iraqi Ministry of Interior official or a Transitional National Assembly delegate.

Initial reports indicate four Iraqi police officers, three Iraqi army soldiers and three civilians were wounded during the explosion. Two U.S. Task Force Baghdad soldiers were also slightly wounded.

Baghdad emergency workers and firefighters quickly responded to extinguish fires in cars that were set ablaze during the explosion.

In other news from Iraq, coalition forces captured 20 terror suspects during seven pre-dawn raids against terrorist safe houses in Baghdad Oct. 4. The raids, in part, are aimed at breaking up terror networks in and around the city.

Task Force Baghdad soldiers also caught three men before they could carry out a terrorist attack in the Thawra district of northeast Baghdad. The soldiers halted a vehicle with no license plate. Inside the vehicle, three men each had AK-47 assault rifles, and none had identification. The Americans detained the terror suspects and turned them over to Iraqi police.

Task Force Baghdad soldiers also seized four weapons caches, containing 571 mortar rounds, 19 artillery rounds, 15 rockets, nine rocket launchers, 110 rocket-propelled grenades, one RPG launcher, 31 grenades, 206 artillery fuses, a large-caliber machine gun with ammunition, and two AK-47 assault rifles.

In Taji, Iraqi army soldiers found a weapons cache while patrolling near a major thoroughfare. The soldiers found a 155 mm artillery shell, five mortar shells ranging in size from 100 mm to 120 mm, a box of rocket fuses, and five pounds of plastic explosives. The patrol also recovered two AK-47 assault rifles, a flare gun, and two remote-controlled detonators.

Elsewhere, soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Intervention Force, and coalition troops discovered a sizeable weapons cache and detained three men Oct. 4 at a school in the Malaab district of Ramadi. No children were present at the school during the incident.

An inventory of the weaponry and IED-making components tallied 75 different item types in various quantities. The stash produced 33 assorted guns, 92 mortar rounds in different sizes, 36 assorted RPG rounds, eight bags of rifle ammunition, links and propellant rods, and seven two-and-a-half-gallon buckets of propellant and propellant and gasoline mix.

A wide array of explosives and components, such as charges, fuses, blasting caps, primers, detonation cord and a mix of electronic equipment such as cell phones, chargers, cables and transformers, was found also.

One man was identified as the guard at the school, and two other men present failed a "wipe test" for exposure to explosives residue. All three were taken into custody for further questioning by authorities.

Iraqi security forces found and cleared two IEDs Oct. 4 in the Fallujah area. Troops from the 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Intervention Force, found an IED during a presence patrol and cordoned off the area. EOD excavated the device, which was determined to be a South African 155 mm M1A1 artillery round.

The soldiers also reported another IED discovered two weeks earlier in the vicinity, near a previously excavated weapons cache. The bomb was retrieved by EOD and turned out to be another 155 mm projectile. Both rounds were turned over for later disposal.

In north-central Iraq, Iraqi security forces and U.S. Task Force Liberty soldiers began Operation Saratoga in advance of the Oct. 15 constitutional referendum and to protect people during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Officials said Iraqi forces and Task Force Liberty soldiers will be much more visible across all the regions of north-central Iraq to act on recent information developed by the Iraqi police and army and coalition forces.

More than 500 Iraqi citizens have been killed or injured by terrorist attacks in Kirkuk, Bayji, Samarra, Duluiyah, Tuz, Baqubah and Balad, officials said. Nearly 80 Iraqi policemen and soldiers have died and another 101 wounded in their fight to protect the Iraqi people since the beginning of September.

Task Force Liberty soldiers and their Iraqi army and police partners have conducted almost 300 combat missions to disrupt terror cells. More than 800 suspected terrorists have been detained and another 25 enemy forces killed and 10 enemy wounded since Sept. 1, officials said.

Polling-site security will be augmented by more than 1,400 concrete barriers emplaced in recent weeks to support Iraqi police and army operations to secure access for voters, officials said.

In the air war over Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 34 close-air-support and armed-reconnaissance sorties Oct. 4 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities. Coalition aircraft also supported Iraqi and coalition ground forces to create a secure environment for ongoing Transitional National Assembly meetings.

U.S. Air Force F-16s performed a strike against a building used by anti-Iraqi forces in the vicinity of Karabilah, expending one GBU-38 500-pound bomb.

Other U.S. Air Force F-16s and F-15s and British Royal Air Force GR-4s provided close air support to coalition troops in the vicinities of Mahmudiyah, Ramadi, and Tuz Khurmatu.

In addition, nine U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. 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, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq, Task Force Baghdad, Task Force Liberty and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)

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

Click photo for screen-resolution imageFirefighters battle to put out the blaze of a car that was caught in the blast of a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device at Baghdad's International Zone, Oct. 4. Army photo  
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