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Iraqis Blunt Insurgent Assaults; 19 Suspects Nabbed in Joint Raid

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2005 – Iraqi security forces successfully fought off repeated insurgent attacks in action in southern Mosul Jan. 21.

Insurgents had attempted to seize the train station there, but were defeated by pro-government Iraqi soldiers. No injuries were reported among the Iraqi soldiers.

And Task Force Danger and Iraqi Army soldiers detained 19 individuals during a Jan. 21 raid near Balad. Iraqi Army soldiers searched a local mosque and detained 19 individuals. The detainees were taken to Multinational Force facilities for questioning.

In other news, Iraqi Army 1st Division, 1st Battalion troops engaged insurgents in two separate actions in Mosul on Jan. 21, capturing two of the enemy and seizing a mortar tube and a sniper rifle.

Also, U.S. 25th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade troops in northern Iraq captured eight insurgents during Jan. 21 operations, while soldiers from the U.S. 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, detained five suspected insurgents in eastern Mosul.

Meanwhile in the western part of the city, U.S. soldiers of 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, detained two people suspected of anti-Iraqi activity while conducting a Jan. 21 cordon-and-search operation. Later in the day, a soldier convoy from the unit patrolling in southwestern Mosul was hit with a roadside bomb. The American troops conducted a cordon and search of the area and detained an individual. The suspect is in custody, and no U.S. troop injuries were reported.

Military officials have said the Mosul area is becoming safer with each seizure and removal of dangerous weapons and detention of anti-Iraqi insurgents. Since Jan. 5 Iraqi security forces and multinational forces have detained 207 people and confiscated numerous weapons and munitions.

In other Iraq news, elements of the 24th U.S. Marine Expeditionary Unit seized two suspected militants and uncovered a weapons stockpile south of Baghdad Jan. 21, the third day of the latest anti-insurgent operation in northern Babil province.

Intelligence gleaned from a Jan. 19 raid in the south-central town of Jabella led Marines to a site south of nearby Haswah. Among items the search turned up were 76 mortar rounds of various caliber, one complete 60 mm mortar system, 36 125 mm armor-piercing rounds, 200 7.62 mm rounds, 86 cans of 25 mm anti- aircraft-artillery ammunition, 99 fuses, 43 bundles of propellant and 1,000 feet of detonation cord.

Elsewhere in Babil province, U.S. Marines recently detained an Iraqi police officer suspected of aiding insurgents in attacks against Iraqi and U.S. forces with roadside explosives. The officer is being detained for questioning.

On Jan. 18, Iraqi and Marine forces launched Operation Checkmate, a fresh offensive aimed at disrupting insurgent activity ahead of the Jan. 30 national elections. Since the operation began, Iraqi and U.S. forces have rounded up 35 suspected insurgents.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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