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Iraqi Forces Rescue Hostages, Detain Suspects, Capture Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2007 – Iraqi soldiers freed two hostages, detained 10 suspects, and seized a weapons cache in several recent incidents throughout Iraq, coalition officials said.

Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, freed two hostages held by insurgents during a raid yesterday in eastern Baghdad, U.S. military officials said.

The raid also uncovered a weapons cache, including mortars, 60 mm mortar rounds, 130 mm projectiles encased in concrete, homemade bombs and blasting caps.

A day earlier, Iraqi army special forces captured four suspects during operations in Sadr City, a Baghdad neighborhood, officials said. The suspects are believed to be leaders of a kidnapping and murder cell responsible for the deaths of Iraqi civilians.

The Iraqi-led operation, with coalition advisors, targeted men suspected of violence against innocent Iraqis, including kidnapping, illegal trials and executions. They also are suspected of organizing and directing sectarian-based mortar attacks on neighborhoods surrounding Sadr City.

Iraqi forces detained three additional people for questioning.

On Jan. 2, 1st Iraqi Army Division forces, with coalition advisors, captured the suspected leader of an insurgent cell during operations in Ramadi, officials said. The suspect is thought to be responsible for trafficking weapons and homemade bombs used in attacks against Iraqi civilians and security forces.

Officials said the insurgent cell is believed to be using a section along the banks of the Euphrates Canal as a staging area for explosives and weapons handling and distribution. The cell also is suspected of coordinating and conducting small-arms and bomb attacks in the Ramadi area.

Iraqi forces detained two additional suspects for questioning.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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