Marine Killed in Accident, Soldiers Uncover Weapons Caches
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2004 A Marine assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force was killed today in a motor vehicle accident while conducting security and stability operations in Iraq's Anbar province, Multinational Force Iraq officials reported.
The accident was not the result of hostile action, and officials provided no further details.
Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, discovered several weapons caches hidden in palm groves near Baqubah on Dec. 6 during Operation Centaur Backbreaker. Local residents had reported that the landowner and men in masks visited the property and acted suspiciously. The soldiers found 10 mortar tubes, 50 artillery rounds, 193 mortar rounds, 162 rocket-propelled grenades, 21 blocks of plastic explosive, 3,840 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, mine fuses and boxes of mortar and RPG propellants.
Later on Dec. 6, assailants attacked soldiers from Task Force 1-6 during the operation. The soldiers returned fire without further incident. No soldiers were wounded in the engagement.
Also that day, Task Force Danger soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 252nd Armor Regiment, detained four people suspected of being members of an anti-Iraqi forces cell in the village of Quiya. The soldiers confiscated four AK-47 assault rifles, a rifle, a shotgun, anti-Iraqi-force propaganda, small-arms ammunition and 9.2 million dinars in Iraqi currency in a house about 20 kilometers north of Jalula. The suspects were transported to a Multinational Force detention facility for questioning.
Seven people were captured by 1st Infantry Division soldiers in a Dec. 6 raid conducted to kill or capture anti-Iraqi force cell leaders. Three prepared improvised explosive devices were discovered in a house during the raid.
In another Dec. 6 raid, division soldiers captured seven people near Bayji. The raid targeted members of a vehicle-borne IED cell in the town of Siniyah. The raid resulted in the capture of seven suspected members. They were transported to Multinational Force detention facilities. No multinational forces were injured in the incidents.
An improvised explosive device detonated in western Baghdad on Dec. 6, wounding one soldier on a Task Force Baghdad patrol.
On Dec. 5, three U.S. Army members serving with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force were killed in two separate incidents while conducting security and stability operations in Anbar province.
A joint U.S.-Iraqi cordon-and-search operation in three neighborhoods of Baghdad's Rashid district netted several weapons and 20 suspected insurgents Dec. 5. During Operation Falcon Freedom, several hundred U.S. and Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi Interior Ministry police officers searched the neighborhoods, all east of the Dora power plant and along Baghdad's Highway 5.
Several weapons, including three PKC machine guns and three RPG launchers were found by Iraqi police officers. Numerous AK-47s also were seized. The 20 suspects detained were all of fighting age, an official from the 1st Cavalry Division's 5th Brigade Combat Team said. Most were detained after a short firefight with Iraqi soldiers and policemen.
Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, and 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, worked in tandem with the 304th Iraqi National Guard Battalion, providing an outer cordon during the search.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)