Tips From Citizens Lead Iraqi Soldiers to Weapons Cache
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2005 Acting on tips from local residents, Iraqi soldiers confiscated a large number of terrorist weapons and bomb-making materials Nov. 20 in western Baghdad, military officials reported.
Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, discovered the weapons cache during a follow-up search of an area where an improvised explosive device was discovered and destroyed last week. A small contingent of U.S. soldiers from D Company, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, assisted during the search, officials said.
The weapons were hidden in three vehicles in a parking lot. One vehicle appeared to be wired to be used as a car bomb. The soldiers found nine rocket-propelled grenades, 10 AK-47 assault rifles with 23 magazines, 11 hand grenades, three RPK machine guns, three PKC machine guns, a homemade RPG, a sniper scope, a land mine, assorted small-arms ammunition, 400 PKC rounds, and two ski masks.
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, found more large weapons caches in southern Baghdad.
Within 24 hours, the soldiers of A Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, unearthed three weapons caches, the third of which was discovered Nov. 19. Each cache was located in fields adjacent to roads that allow easy vehicle access for insurgents to get the weapons and ammunition, officials said.
The third cache consisted of 7,000 RPK machine-gun rounds, 20 81 mm mortar rounds, seven aviation bomb shells, four RPG rounds, three 155 mm artillery rounds and a 500-pound bomb. An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the caches through controlled detonations.
Unit soldiers have secured the site and continue to search for more possible weapons caches, officials said.
In other news, Iraqi soldiers in eastern Baghdad launched operations against terrorists in Rusafa and Adhamiyah Nov. 19 and 20.
Two suspected terrorists were detained on the first day of operations. They were thought to be managing terrorist activity in Baghdad, officials said.
The detained suspects led the Iraqi soldiers to other suspected terrorists. The follow-on mission to seize these men took place Nov. 20, and six more suspects were detained. Another suspected terrorist was captured in the day. The Iraqi army was responsible for all facets of this operation, officials noted. All nine of the detainees are in Iraqi army custody and will be processed by the Iraqi judicial system, officials said.
After discovering a large weapons cache Nov. 16, soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, uncovered even more weapons buried beneath the original cache after a controlled detonation the next day. Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, began their search of the site Nov. 15, and the excavation continued through Nov. 18.
While exploiting the site Nov. 17, the soldiers received information from an Iraqi citizen that insurgents planned to attack the American forces securing the area. At 10:30 a.m. Nov. 18, B Troop, 1/75th Cavalry, searched a house identified by the informant, and captured five individuals suspected of being the insurgents planning to attack the cache site.
Since the discovery of the original weapons cache, the soldiers have uncovered three more 120 mm mortar rounds, 1,000 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, a 60 mm mortar system, a 60 mm mortar and various homemade explosives.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases. Army Pfc. Kelly K. McDowell, assigned to the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team public affairs office, contributed to this report.)