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Special Iraqi Forces Conduct Raid in Sadr City

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2006 – Special Iraqi army forces, with coalition advisors, conducted a raid today in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood against an illegal armed group responsible for kidnapping, torturing and murdering Iraqi civilians and soldiers.

The cell has more than 30 members and allegedly uses a mosque compound as a place to conduct its illegal activity and store weapons. The cell is known to be targeting Iraqi soldiers, officials said.

Iraqi forces entered the mosque in search of cell members, but no one was detained. There was minimal damage to the mosque, and Iraqi forces fired on and neutralized a hostile vehicle posing an immediate threat to ground forces at the objective, officials said. There were no reported Iraqi forces or coalition forces casualties.

In other news from Iraq, coalition forces were engaged yesterday at several locations in southern Ramadi by a group of insurgents with small-arms fire.

The insurgents took refuge in a nearby building and continued to engage coalition forces. Officials said that after establishing positive identification and in an effort to avoid endangering civilians, coalition forces conducted an air strike against the insurgents using a laser-guided missile, killing one insurgent.

Three insurgents fled the building and were engaged by coalition forces, resulting in the death of another insurgent. There were no reports of civilian casualties as a result of the events, and there were no coalition casualties.

On Nov. 18, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers seized a large weapons cache in southwest Baghdad. The soldiers -- from the 1st Squadron, 89th Calvary Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division -- seized three 155 mm artillery rounds, a 120 mm mortar round, 55 60 mm mortar rounds, 37 anti-personnel rocket-propelled-grenade rounds, 32 anti-armor RPG rounds, a long-range cordless phone, a fragmentation grenade, six homemade explosive propane tanks, three rifle scopes, a double-barrel shotgun, a crew-served weapon, a bag of blasting caps, 400 7.62 mm linked rounds, 400 7.62 mm loose rounds and 200 .50-caliber rounds.

On Nov. 17, Iraqi police and coalition forces found and disarmed two rockets and launching components in the town of Dibbis, Iraq, northwest of Kirkuk. Iraqi police found the 52 mm rockets and ignition systems. Expert explosive handlers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning, disarmed the explosive weapons and destroyed the rockets.

The controlled detonations at the site caused no damage and there were no Iraqi civilian, Iraqi police or coalition forces injuries or casualties, officials said.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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