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Soldier Killed, Another Wounded in Operation Near Duluiyah

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2005 – A 1st Infantry Division soldier was killed and another was wounded today in an operation near Duluiyah, Iraq, Multinational Force Iraq officials announced.

The soldiers were conducting a raid to kill or capture known improvised explosive device cell members when the incident occurred. Officials did not provide any details on the circumstances. The wounded soldier was reported to be in stable condition. The soldiers' names are being withheld pending notification of their families.

Officials said the raid, which encompassed eight locations, netted 22 suspects. One insurgent was killed in the operation. Four detainees, officials said, are wanted suspects. The detainees were screened on location; 12 were transported to Multinational Force detention facilities for further questioning, and the others were released.

A successful limited-scale raid conducted in Karabilah on Jan. 20 by elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit netted an IED maker who proudly admitted to attacking and killing multinational forces, officials reported. Several large caches of weapons, documents and ammunition were seized from the insurgent's residence. These weapons caches contained enough material to produce more than 30 IEDs, officials said.

The man said he had retrieved all of the ordnance from an old Iraqi army ammunition supply point, loaded it in his vehicle and then returned home. He buried the ordnance in a variety of locations on his property. He began making IEDs during the summer of 2003 and personally detonated several IEDs against Multinational Force convoys, he said.

"The 31st MEU is determined to capture or kill known insurgents by finding them where they live," a unit spokesman said in a written statement.

Task Force Danger soldiers detained a suspect after their combat patrol encountered small-arms fire near Mandeli on Jan. 20. The suspect was apprehended near the fire hall, where two AK-47 assault rifles were found inside.

Soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division soldiers detained a man and confiscated weapons found in his home during a Jan. 20 raid near Bayji. Two submachine guns, 20 AK-47s, 20 82 mm mortar rounds and 100 82 mm mortar round casings were found.

Iraqi army soldiers on Jan. 20 detained a man suspected of funding insurgent activity at a traffic control point in northern Tikrit.

Marines and soldiers from the 1st Marine Division of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force detained 36 suspected insurgents and discovered several weapons caches during operations throughout Anbar province over the last two days, officials reported. Among the weapons and munitions discovered were two rocket-propelled grenade rounds, six AK-47s, two sniper rifles, a 9 mm pistol, three machine guns, 10 mortar fuses, 48 mortar primers, an anti-aircraft machine gun, 20 37 mm anti-aircraft rounds, dozens of mortar and artillery rounds of various types, two grenades, a vehicle, and bomb-making materials.

Soldiers from 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), detained a suspected insurgent in northern Iraq on Jan. 20. The same day, soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, captured a man suspected of firing on them in Tal Afar. They followed the detention with a cordon-and-search operation of an unoccupied building and found and confiscated military intelligence documents.

The Iraqi Army's 306th Battalion, 40th Brigade, an element of the U.S. 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, has assumed responsibility for security operations in a portion of the Sadr City area. Army Lt. Col. Gary Volesky, commander of 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, passed symbolic colors to 306th Commander Lt. Col. Hussein Musin Bahar Al-Freejy, an eastern Baghdad native, in a ceremony Jan. 18.

Sadr City, an area of intermittent unrest since U.S. forces arrived almost a year ago, is home to an estimated 2.5 million people.

Several areas throughout the country have been transferred to Iraqi security forces in the last few months, moving toward the ultimate goal of an autonomous Iraqi security force and government, officials said.

"The transfer is very important, especially for the elections," the Iraqi unit commander said through an interpreter. "There is a great need for the people to know that the U.S. is transferring authority to the Iraqi army."

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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