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Joint Weekend Raids Lead to Arrests in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2004 – A cell leader and a suspected bomb maker were among several insurgents detained during joint operations by Iraqi and U.S. forces over the past 48 hours, Multinational Force Iraq officials announced in news releases today.

During a search near Jalula today, Taha Ahmed Kalif, a known cell leader of anti-Iraqi forces, was captured with two other suspects in the village of Bisher.

Ali Ahmed Hamdoosh, who military officials say is a known improvised-explosive- device maker, was taken into custody along with 11 other suspected insurgents. Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division captured Hamdoosh near Duluiyah about 1:30 a.m. today. The detainees were taken to a military detention facility for questioning.

Other arrests were made in Baghdad, where Iraqi police officers apprehended four insurgents believed to have attacked a police station with small-arms fire Aug. 1.

Also in Baghdad, officials reported that the four explosions occurring near Baghdad churches Aug. 1 killed 10 Iraqi civilians and wounded more than 40. The four IEDs detonated over about a 30-minute period. The largest blast occurred in central Baghdad, where a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated outside a church, leaving a six-foot by five-foot crater.

Iraqi Police found a fifth IED, consisting of 15 mortar rounds, also near a Baghdad church. "Iraqi police provided a professional, rapid response to each of these attacks," said Army Lt. Col. James Hutton, 1st Cavalry Division spokesman.

Military officials also said an Iraqi Police quick-reaction force was sent to the Sargon police station near Dibis -- about 50 kilometers northeast of Kirkuk -- to help repel an attack Aug. 1.

No Iraqi police officers were wounded in the skirmish, and there was no damage to police equipment or buildings, according to military reports.

Elsewhere, several anti-Iraqi force members were taken into custody Aug. 1 during joint operations in Tall Afar in Ninevah province. Military officials said Iraqi National Guard and MNFI soldiers detained 16 suspected anti-Iraqi forces members for questioning. Weapons and ammunition were seized during the operation, including rifles and rocket-propelled grenades and launchers.

An off-duty Iraqi National Guard soldier may have prevented a car-bomb attack after notifying Iraqi authorities of a taxi laden with munitions outside of a church in northeastern Mosul Aug. 1. Iraqi explosive ordnance teams disarmed the bomb without injury and removed the vehicle.

Earlier in the evening, a single car-bomb explosion killed and seven injured outside of another church in northeastern Mosul, according to an MNFI release. Attackers parked a bomb-laden car near the church and fired an unidentified rocket at the church before detonating the car bomb. A church office located next door sustained most of the damage, including a collapsed roof. The church itself reportedly sustained minimal damage, however, the blast destroyed five civilian vehicles nearby.

Iraqi police and multinational forces on the scene reported that three unexploded munitions were found in the vicinity of the car bomb. Iraqi police secured the scene and the Iraqi explosive ordnance disposal team reduced the rounds without further damage.

Also the same day, a suicide bomber drove a vehicle into a barrier outside of a police station in southeastern Mosul, killing three Iraqi police officers and two civilians. The blast wounded more than 50 people, including 43 civilians.

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Related Sites:
Multinational Force Iraq
1st Infantry Division


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