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Weapons Caches Found in Iraq; 27 Suspected Insurgents Detained

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2006 – Iraqi soldiers with coalition forces discovered weapons caches and detained 27 suspects around Iraq over the past two days.

Soldiers with the 5th Battalion (Stryker), 20th Infantry, raided a compound yesterday in eastern Baghdad and found a weapons cache containing six AK-47 rifles with 13 magazines, two homemade zip guns, one rocket-propelled-grenade launcher with a bag of grenades, three improvised explosive devices, one 9 mm submachine gun with three magazines, one saber, one brass knuckle and knife combination, and one .22-caliber single-shot rifle. The raid also uncovered a computer and two gas masks with filters.

Elsewhere in Iraq yesterday, paratroopers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division found another weapons cache while searching a house near Jurf as Sakhr.

The cache consisted of three rifles, one scope, one sword, one pistol, six magazines of 7.62 mm ammunition, assorted military uniforms, one American chemical protective suit, a firing mechanism for an air-defense weapon, and a large amount of currency. The paratroops also detained 18 suspected insurgents during yesterday’s raid. The detainees and confiscated weapons were taken to the unit's base camp, and the suspects are being held for further questioning.

In Tikrit yesterday, Iraqi police forces with coalition advisors captured a suspected weapons smuggler who was allegedly supplying weapons and improvised explosive devices used in insurgent attacks against Iraqi civilians and security forces. The weapons smuggler is an experienced IED-maker and provides IEDs, small arms, and heavy weapons to insurgent groups conducting attacks in the Tikrit area, military officials said. Iraqi forces confiscated three assault rifles and a pistol during the operation. Minimal damage occurred during the operation, and no Iraqi civilian or military or coalition casualties were reported.

Three more insurgents were captured elsewhere in Iraq yesterday when the 1st Iraqi Army Division with coalition advisors raided a compound in Fallujah. Combined forces captured a suspected forger who allegedly produces forged documents and false identifications for insurgents operating from Ramadi to Baghdad. Iraqi forces also detained two other suspected insurgents who military officials say are part of an improvised explosive device cell operating in the area.

The troops confiscated equipment and material used to produce false identification and documents during the operation.

A day earlier in Iraq, soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment detained five suspected terrorists in two separate incidents and found weapons and other items during routine traffic checks in eastern Bagdad. During one of the traffic stops, the unit found three 9 mm pistols, three cell phones and a black ski mask. The soldiers detained three individuals during this incident. In the second incident, soldiers discovered a video camera and a recorder and detained two more suspects. All five suspects are being held for questioning.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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