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Dozens Detained In Iraq; Many Weapons Caches Discovered

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2007 – In multiple operations since Jan. 6, coalition forces have detained more than 50 suspects, killed eight terrorists and discovered numerous weapons caches, military officials said.

Coalition forces conducted routine security operations in northern Iraq and took six individuals suspected of being closely tied to activities targeting Iraqi and coalition forces into custody today, officials said.

This operation was part of an ongoing effort by coalition forces targeting individuals involved in activities aimed at the killing of Iraqi citizens and coalition forces.

Separate operations yesterday netted 36 suspects and several weapons caches.

Acting on tips, U.S. soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, conducted two unrelated but simultaneous raids on homes in southwestern Baghdad.

In one raid, nine suspected insurgents were detained when sizable quantities of materials for making roadside bombs were found in the residence. All nine are being held for questioning, officials said.

In the second raid, soldiers surrounded and entered a home in southwestern Baghdad after receiving information about a possible insurgent cell operating out of the home. After entering the home they found pistols, AK-47 assault rifles, ammunition magazines, armored vests, $2000 in U.S. currency and $3000 in Iraqi dinar.

Following this raid, 12 more suspects were taken into custody.

Officials said the raids were carried out in an attempt to stem sectarian violence in Baghdad.

In a joint operation yesterday, Iraqi national policemen and coalition forces detained 10 men suspected of committing sectarian murders and placing road-side bombs in Baghdad’s Jaza'r neighborhood, officials said.

U.S. soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, together with members of 2nd Battalion, 6th Iraqi National Police Brigade, conducted a house-to-house search of the area after establishing a security perimeter. The operation resulted from local citizens’ tips about possible insurgents and weapons caches in the neighborhood.

The Iraqi national police seized three large weapons caches containing a rifle fitted with a silencer, a machine gun, a sniper rifle, and assorted small-arms ammunition and bomb-making materials.

The suspects are being held for further questioning.

In southern Baghdad yesterday, Iraqi policemen of 1st Brigade, 6th National Police Division, and U.S. soldiers of Company C, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, conducted a combined cordon-and-search mission successfully clearing 80 houses the Doura district.

The purpose of this mission, dubbed Operation “Spartan II,” was to clear the area of weapons caches and disrupt insurgent and militia activities to provide a secure environment for Iraqi citizens, officials said.

This section of the capital, as well as surrounding neighborhoods, has been subjected recently to an increase in sectarian violence including intimidation, murders and indirect fire.

As a result, six targeted individuals were captured and detained by the Iraqi national police force. All six suspects detained are being held for questioning.

Following the successful completion of the mission, a civil military operation was conducted in the area, and the combined force distributed about 25 kerosene heaters and 25 bottles of kerosene to area residents.

The same day, in the Baghdad’s southeastern Karb neighborhood, a patrol of U.S. soldiers assigned to Troop C, 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment rendered medical assistance to a severely wounded Iraqi woman.

The woman was found with a gunshot wound to the neck during the afternoon patrol. The soldiers immediately rendered life-saving medical assistance and evacuated her to the nearest medical facility, officials said. The young woman, a neighborhood school teacher, was listed in stable condition.

Elsewhere in Iraq yesterday, insurgent forces launched two 60mm mortar rounds at a predominantly Sunni, all-girls high school in Mosul's Magrab neighborhood, officials of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division said.

Iraqi police and security officials said one round impacted the school and the second round exploded on the street outside the school.

Nine Iraqi civilians were injured, including four high school girls, two women and three children. All of the wounded were taken to Al Jamouri Hospital, however the extent of their injuries remains unknown, according to the police.

Iraqi police are currently investigating the attack and urge vigilance as “anti-Iraqi forces continue to attack civilian targets in an effort to fuel sectarian tensions and provoke reprisal attacks.”

While on patrol Jan. 9, 1st Cavalry Division troops discovered seven weapons caches and bomb-making materials near the village of Arab Salman Salman, officials said.

Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, uncovered the caches, which included rocket-propelled grenade rounds and launchers; assault rifles with rounds of ammunition; 57mm rockets; plastic explosives; 120 mm artillery shells; 137 mm missiles; explosives; and other bomb-making materials.

An investigation is currently underway to find those responsible for stashing the weapons.

In a Jan. 8 air assault operation in Yusufiyah, Iraqi army and coalition forces detained six suspected terrorists near Ahmed Suhel Village, approximately three miles northwest of the city, officials said.

Iraqi soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division and U.S. soldiers of Company C, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, conducted the operation to deny sanctuary to the enemy within the area.

The multi-company air assault resulted in the capture of six alleged terrorists, two individuals wanted by coalition forces, two individuals wanted by the Iraqi army and two individuals who had bomb-making materials in their possession.

All of the captured suspects have been linked to bomb and mortar attacks against civilians, Iraqi security forces and coalition troops in the area. They’re all being held for questioning, officials said.

In a series of raids to capture al Qaeda leaders in the Tarmiyah area that began Jan. 6 and ended Jan. 8, coalition forces killed eight terrorists and detained seven suspected terrorists, officials said.

During the second day of the raids, coalition forces began taking enemy fire as terrorists attempted to remove weapons and explosives from a weapons cache on an island in the Tigris River. Coalition Forces engaged them, killing four.

That evening, more armed terrorists attempted to gain access to the weapons cache and began firing at a coalition forces security detail. Coalition forces returned fire and killed an additional four terrorists.

Six weapons caches, some hidden in underground bunkers, consisted of AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades, 82mm mortar systems, sniper rifles, armor piercing rounds, 80mm rocket launchers, bomb-making materials and an assortment of mortar grenade fuses.

Officials said coalition forces destroyed the caches on site to prevent further use by terrorists.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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Multinational Corps Iraq
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