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Body Found in Tikrit May Be Missing Japanese Traveler

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2004 – Multinational forces have confirmed that the body of an Asian male was found in Tikrit today, according to Multinational Force Iraq officials.

Civilian news sources report that the Japanese government is trying to determine whether the body is that of a 24-year-old Japanese traveler reportedly kidnapped Oct. 27. The soldiers took possession of the remains from a hospital and transported them to a military mortuary affairs collection point.

On Oct. 28, acting on information obtained from intelligence sources, 1st Infantry Division soldiers from Task Force 1-27 and multinational forces detained a suspected improvised explosive device cell leader and three others at two locations near Zab, officials said in a news release.

The primary target was captured at the first location with IED material. At a second location an individual with grenades was detained.

At the same time, in another raid conducted by Task Force 2-108 soldiers near Ad Dujayl, two individuals were detained for possessing IED-making material, according to officials.

Also on Oct. 28, Iraqi security forces and elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit captured 16 suspected insurgents in south-central Iraq, officials said.

Marines patrolling in vehicles near Haswah before sunrise observed a truck driving without its lights on and stopped the vehicle. When three of the six oocupants jumped out and attempted to flee on foot, the Marines chased them down and detained all six. A vehicle search uncovered a pistol and 50 rounds for an RPK machine gun.

Elsewhere, the 24th MEU's Force Reconnaissance platoon seized 10 militants in a pair of raids near Lutafiyah. The captured men had in their possession a number of fake identification cards and passports as well as Iraqi police uniforms, officials reported. All are wanted in connection with attacks on coalition forces in northern Babil province.

The Oct. 28 gains follow the previous day's capture of 18 insurgents by the Iraqi SWAT team. Since the MEU arrived in the area in July, Iraqi security forces and Marines have rounded up more than 500 anti-Iraqi elements, officials said.

(Compiled in part from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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