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Crackdown on Insurgents Continues

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2005 – Multinational Force Iraq troops continued their crackdown on insurgents threatening the peace in Iraq, with raids and cordon- and-search operations yielding dozens of suspects and piles of munitions, officials in Baghdad reported today.

Troops discovered and cleared six improvised explosive devices, discovered and cleared 11 weapons caches, conducted five cordonand-search operations and four raids of suspected insurgent facilities, and detained 85 suspected insurgents Jan. 4.

Three cordon-and-search operations in Mosul led to the detention of 15 insurgents. Iraqi security forces and elements of Task Force Olympia and the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), took part in the operations. Also participating were soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment (Airborne); 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment; 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment; and the 101st Iraqi National Guard Battalion.

A civilian in Samarra tipped off multinational forces to an insurgent placing bombs near a city mosque. The troops searched the area and found an improvised explosive device, which an explosive ordnance disposal team detonated without incident. Multinational forces also discovered and secured a weapons cache near Kirkuk.

Also in Samarra, soldiers from the 2nd Iraqi Ministry of the Interior Commando Battalion detained three people during a nighttime raid Jan. 4. Meanwhile, a raid near Ramadi yielded 12 detainees. In Fallujah, multinational forces discovered and secured two small weapons caches, while forces in Amiriyah discovered and cleared another weapons and explosives cache.

In and around Baghdad, multinational forces conducted two raids, netting two weapons caches and took three detainees into custody. Iraqi National Guardsmen conducted a joint raid with multinational forces in Baghdad, yielding two more detainees. Two cordon-and-search operations in Taji yielded two weapons caches.

Marines from the 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, detained 16 suspected insurgents and discovered several weapons caches Jan. 4 during operations throughout Anbar province, officials said.

Munitions discovered and destroyed included 56 rocket-propelled grenade rockets, a sack of anti-aircraft rounds, an AK-47 assault rifle with rounds, nine 60 mm mortar rounds, seven SA-6 rockets, 124 60 mm rockets, a 57 mm rocket, four 155 mm mortar rounds, improvised explosive device components and insurgent propaganda, officials said.

On Jan. 2, elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted limited- scale raids in western Anbar province, netting 27 suspects associated with smuggling and ties to the insurgency, officials reported.

Meanwhile, Task Force Baghdad executed "Operation Triple Play" Dec. 31, which included large-scale cordon-and-search operations in Salman Pak and two other cities to curtail insurgent activity.

Officials said the two-day operation yielded several terrorist and insurgent targets and a large weapons cache that included rocket-propelled grenade rounds, RPG launchers, mortar rounds, AK-47s, hand grenades, bomb-making materials and body armor.

Participating in the operation were elements of the 1st Cavalry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team, U.S. Marines and Iraqi National Guardsmen.

Days after moving from Baghdad to Camp Dogwood in north Babil province, soldiers of Task Force 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, as well as members of 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, went on the offensive against insurgent activity.

Operation River Walk, a 36-hour cordon-and-search operation held Jan. 2 and 3 in and around Latifiya on the banks of the Euphrates River, yielded nine significant weapons caches and 43 suspected insurgents. Troops also discovered and destroyed several IEDs, officials said.

Officials reported a continued increase in Iraqi civilians coming forward to report insurgent activity to local authorities.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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