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Attack Kills Soldier; Informant's Tip Foils Another Bomber

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2004 – A Task Force Olympia soldier died Oct. 15 following a car-bomb attack on a Multinational Force Iraq convoy in east- central Mosul, military officials reported today. Meanwhile, an Iraqi informant's tip probably prevented a similar attack.

Forward Operating Base Speicher's force protection cell developed the informant's tip, and Task Force 1-18 scouts conducted a raid in Sequor to kill or capture the suspected car-bomb maker.

The suspected insurgent was detained, and the scouts confiscated 2.5 million Iraqi dinar, $3,000, a 9 mm pistol, detailed strip maps of the forward operating base, plastic explosives and a car that was rigged to be what military officials call a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.

The vehicle drew a response from explosives-sniffing dogs with the FOB Speicher K-9 unit, and further tests by Multinational Force Iraq personnel were positive for explosives.

Car bombs are among the most serious of the rising threats against the Multinational Force, and have been a primary weapon used by the insurgents to kill innocent Iraqis and civilian contractors. This is the second VBIED that Task Force 1-18 has found and neutralized before detonation, officials said.

Multinational Force officials also announced today that the Tikrit Iraqi National Police and Emergency Service Unit, the 201st Iraqi National Guard, and Task Force 1-18 soldiers conducted Operation Mandarin Squeeze in Tikrit, Iraq, Oct. 14.

Officials said the cordon-and-search operation, which took place in the highest urban concentration of Tikrit, had a threefold purpose: to deny insurgents sanctuary, to promote the Tikrit job corps program, and to assess essential services.

The area searched has a large population of former military members, officials said.

"The operation was specifically designed to maintain momentum in Tikrit, clearly sending insurgents the message there is no sanctuary here," a written statement from Multinational Force Iraq said.

More than 600 homes were searched and more than 150 job corps cards were handed out. The job corps card can be exchanged for an employment opportunity in the city.

"The people's overall reaction to this operation was extremely positive. In many cases, the residents invited soldiers into their homes for tea," the statement said. "The people of Tikrit want peace and stability and realize that the presence of insurgents in their neighborhoods inhibits progress. The operation gave local citizens confidence in their Iraqi security forces."

In other news from Iraq, two suspected insurgents were captured in a cordon- and-search operation in Sulayman Bak at about 6:45 p.m. Oct. 15.

The purpose of the search, conducted by E Troop, 196th Cavalry Squadron and coalition soldiers, was to kill or capture suspected anti-Iraqi force members, officials said.

Several weapons were confiscated in the raid, including an 82 mm mortar tube, a 60 mm mortar tube, 50 20 mm rounds and one Kalashnikov RPK machine gun. The captured personnel and equipment were taken to Multinational Force detention facilities. There were no injuries to coalition forces or damage to equipment, officials said.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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