Iraqis Direct Soldiers to Weapons Caches
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 28, 2004 Iraqi citizens continue to help U.S. soldiers rid their country of illegal weapons, Multinational Force Iraq officials reported today.
Two Iraqi children led 1st Infantry Division soldiers from Task Force Trailblazer to a weapons cache near Bayji this morning. The soldiers discovered nine land mines hidden in a former tank position and are investigating additional caches in the area, officials said.
Later today, near Duluiyah, an Iraqi citizen reported a weapons cache to 1st Infantry Division soldiers. The cache consisted of four 20 mm machine guns, a 60 mm mortar tube, an anti-aircraft gun, a box of 20 mm high-explosive ammunition, a box of .50-caliber ammunition, rocket propellant, rocket fuses, a 20 mm recoilless rifle, and six boxes of armor-piercing ammunition. The cache was transported to a Multinational Force facility for future destruction.
Also today in Iraq, Multinational forces and Iraqi security forces conducting a joint patrol in Mosul were attacked with small-arms fire from a mosque. An Iraqi National Guard soldier was wounded in the attack and was taken to a Multinational Force medical facility in Mosul for treatment.
Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, and the Iraqi National Guard quickly maneuvered on the mosque, but the insurgents fled as the soldiers approached. Iraqi National Guard soldiers searching the mosque found evidence that a safe haven was given to the insurgents so they could conduct the attack.
Officials said the interim Iraqi government and the Ninevah provincial governor have made it clear that any mosque used as a base of operations to conduct attacks against Iraqi or multinational forces is subject to search. Anyone using a position of authority to incite violence against the Iraqi government, the country's security forces or multinational troops, officials added, will be subject to arrest and detention.
Iraqi police and Polish soldiers from the 1st Battle Group of Multinational Division Central-South in Babil province thwarted five suspected vehicle bombs today. A joint patrol stopped vehicles about 1.5 kilometers north of Mashru. A search determined that all five vehicles were filled with parts of artillery shells and grenades.
The soldiers determined it is likely that these vehicles were prepared as bombs. Eight suspects were detained and handed over to Iraqi police in Hillah.
Iraqi police escorted the vehicles away from the urban area and U.S. explosive ordnance disposal personnel removed and destroyed all explosive material taken from the vehicles.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)