More Insurgents Captured, Some With Iraqi Citizens' Help
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2005 With Iraq's Jan. 30 national assembly election drawing closer, coalition and Iraqi forces continue rounding up insurgents and confiscating illegal weapons.
In northern Iraq early today, three operations resulted in the detention of 36 suspected insurgents. An operation near Hawijah by 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, and multinational forces accounted for 15 of the detainees along with 650,000 Iraqi dinar and $170 in U.S. currency. Another 1-27 Infantry mission with Iraqi police in Kirkuk, conducted concurrently with the Hawijah mission, accounted for 16 of the total detained. A third mission by 1st Infantry Division soldiers from the 82nd Engineer Battalion accounted for the remaining five, who were detained near Baqubah.
The keen eyes of soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team "Commandos," 10th Mountain Division, resulted in the apprehension of seven suspected insurgents in Baghdad early today. Soldiers stopped a blue van matching the description of a reported insurgent vehicle and found two unregistered handguns along with a series of notes believed to be linked to terrorist activities. The Commandos also conducted six raids on various insurgent targets throughout Baghdad. Three targeted individuals were detained for further questioning.
Also today, 1st Infantry Division soldiers from 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, discovered a pair of weapons caches near Duluiyah as part of Operation Powder River. A combat patrol from A Troop uncovered a cache of munitions that included two rocket-propelled grenades, two improvised explosive devices, an SA-7 surface-to-air missile launcher, a mortar system and 200 mortars. A second combat patrol from 1-4 Cavalry on a route-clearing mission discovered a cache containing 40 1,000-foot rolls of fuse wire and 500 pounds of dynamite. The caches were secured and transported to a Multinational Force Iraq facility for destruction.
Insurgents today shot and critically wounded two Iraqi children in northern Iraq. Soldiers from 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), were patrolling southwestern Mosul when insurgents began shooting at them. The insurgents' fire struck two children playing in the area. "This demonstrates a lack of concern by insurgents for the safety of innocent Iraqis, including children," a Multinational Force Iraq statement said.
Thanks to a tip from a local resident, Task Force Baghdad soldiers guarding the perimeter at Camp Taji discovered an IED on Jan. 15. After receiving the warning, members of the 1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery Regiment, found a 155 mm artillery round with blasting caps and wires. The unit notified an explosive ordnance team, which secured the round for disposal. Also on Jan. 15, an Iraqi man flagged down a group of Marines patrolling south of Baghdad and led them to a small weapons stockpile. The Marines, assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, followed the man to a field near Haswah, where they found eight 152 mm artillery shells. Information provided by local citizens has proved instrumental in joint efforts by U.S. and Iraqi forces to disrupt insurgent activity in northern Babil province, a 24th MEU official said.
Soldiers from 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), confiscated weapons and ammunition and detained 11 suspected insurgents during Jan. 15 operations in northern Iraq.
In one of the operations, soldiers conducted a search in eastern Mosul and detained five people suspected of insurgent activities. Soldiers in another operation confiscated weapons and detained three people suspected of firing on multinational forces in eastern Mosul. Soldiers of the 1st Brigade, 24 Infantry Regiment, conducted a search in western Mosul. They confiscated weapons and detained two people suspected of firing on coalition Forces. Soldiers of the 3rd Brigade, 21st Infantry Regiment, conducted a cordon-and-search operation in eastern Mosul, capturing a man suspected of being an insurgent cell leader. No Multinational Force injuries were reported in the operations.
Task Force Danger soldiers discovered and destroyed a vehicle-concealed improvised explosive device near Dujayl on Jan. 15. An aviation weapons team saw the abandoned vehicle and coordinated ground forces to engage and destroy it. After the vehicle was destroyed, the area was secured and four suspicious individuals were detained, questioned and released when it was determined they weren't involved or had no knowledge of the bomb. Explosives ordnance personnel destroyed the vehicle, which contained two 155 mm high-explosive rounds, two 122 mm HE rounds, a 122 mm HE round, a 122 mm illumination round, 9 pounds of propellant and 35 14.5 mm rounds.
Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division captured two insurgents wanted for mortar attacks on Multinational Force bases in a Jan. 15 raid near Tikrit. The two also are believed to be members of a cell responsible for a Jan. 11 attack on the Tikrit police station. Other 1st Infantry Division soldiers from 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, detained a suspected insurgent cell leader in a Jan. 15 raid near Dwar.
Multinational forces and Iraqi soldiers detained two suspected insurgents and confiscated a large amount of bomb-making materials and weapons Jan. 14 in northern Iraq.
In a raid of a house in Duluiyah, soldiers detained a suspected insurgent cell leader and a close associate.
The soldiers found 500 kilograms of ammonium nitrate and 55 gallons of diesel fuel oil, chemicals known to be primary ingredients of a high explosive used in previous insurgent attacks. They also found other bomb-making materials, weapons and ammunition.
Also on Jan. 14, the 32nd Iraqi Army Brigade questioned 50 people and detained seven suspects during the unit's first independent operation near Baqubah. Soldiers from the 213th, 204th and 205th IA Battalions searched more than 50 homes and apartment complexes during Operation Diyala Flex to capture suspected insurgents and demonstrate the Iraqi army is prepared to protect Iraq. The soldiers questioned everyone, transported suspected insurgents to a Multinational Force detention facility for further questioning, and released the remaining residents to their homes. Officials said the soldiers detained known suspects, those in possession of illegal weapons or contraband and those with improper identification.