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Iraqi Soldiers Seize Weapons, Detain Three Suspects

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2005 – Iraqi army soldiers confiscated a large number of terrorists' weapons and bomb-making materials and detained three suspects today during cordon-and-search operations in the Ghazaliyah area of western Baghdad, military officials reported.

Acting on information provided by Iraqi citizens, soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, discovered explosives, weapons, improvised explosive device components and numerous other devices used by terrorists to attack Iraqi civilians, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces, officials said.

A small group of U.S. soldiers from D Company, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry, helped with the two-hour search, which started about 9 a.m. The cache was discovered in four different locations. Many items were found in buses parked in the area, while others were buried in burlap bags, officials said.

The find included 17 82 mm mortar rounds, an anti-tank mine, a 155 mm artillery round, 300 rounds of 9 mm ammunition, a sniper rifle, 750 rounds of sniper ammunition, four sets of civilian night-vision goggles, several Iraqi Republican Guard uniforms, two submachine-guns with silencers, five submachine-gun magazines, six various frequency radios, 29 61 mm mortar rounds, a 105 mm artillery round, a light anti-tank rocket, 24 blocks of C4 explosives, 200 machine-gun rounds, a video camera, 12 mortar fuses, 14 artillery fuses, 20 hand grenade fuses, 23 rocket-propelled grenades, a Russian RPK rifle, 80 two-way radios, a laser range finder, 425 feet of detonation chord, 200 feet of electrical cable, 208 blasting caps, 30 Chinese hand grenades and five gas masks.

In other news, 150 Iraqi soldiers and 300 Marines and soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team and 2nd Marine Division concluded Operation Bruins in northern Ramadi Nov. 20.

The two-day operation netted several weapons caches used by al Qaeda in Iraq to conduct direct attacks on Iraqi soldiers, U.S. forces and Ramadi citizens, and to build hundreds of roadside bombs, officials said.

The caches were found Nov. 20 in a sweep through northern Ramadi. Plastic explosives, artillery and mortar shells, fuses and remote and pressure sensitive detonators were among the items found.

Marines conducting a combat patrol in support of the operation were attacked by a roadside bomb. There were no casualties or damage from the bomb, which targeted the fourth armored Humvee in the column.

Marines also were attacked with a single rocket-propelled grenade while on patrol on the perimeter of the cordon area. The grenade hit near the Al Qudar Mosque, but caused no casualties and limited damage.

Twenty-one rocket launchers and 43 rounds of RPG ammunition were discovered, along with 23 medium machine guns, three sniper rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Thirty-two black ski masks also were found in this cache, officials said.

Operation Bruins was part of a series of disruption operations in Ramadi designed to set the conditions for successful elections in December, military officials said, adding that attacks against Iraqi and U.S. forces in the Ramadi area have decreased 60 percent in the last few weeks, as a result of these ongoing operations.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Task Force Baghdad news releases.)

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