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Combat Ops, Reconstruction Continue in Iraq

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2003 – Coalition forces continued operations against Baath Party loyalists, the Fedayeen Saddam and former regime supporters with raids, patrols and captures throughout Iraq, coalition officials said today.

Combined Joint Task Force 7 spokesman Army Col. Guy Shields said during a Baghdad press conference that coalition forces conducted 17 raids, 1,888 patrols and detained 80 people.

In the U.S. 4th Infantry Division area to the north of Baghdad, soldiers seized arms caches containing 10 rocket-propelled grenades, 162 hand grenades, four shoulder-launched air defense missiles, one heavy machine gun, one air defense artillery radar system, several AK-47s, 50 pounds of TNT and various other ammunition, Shields said.

The division also acted on a tip from an Iraqi citizen and confiscated five 60 mm mortar rounds, three AK-47s, a number of loaded AK-47 magazines, a crate of 7.62 mm ammunition, one mortar sight and grenade fuses in Baqubah. They detained five individuals in the raid.

In Mosul, troopers of the 101st Airborne Division discovered an arms cache consisting of 50 120 mm mortar rounds. Explosive ordnance disposal personnel destroyed the rounds.

In addition to combat actions, the coalition is also making progress on the reconstruction front. Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division in the northern part of Iraq assisted in the reopening of the Mosul nursing home, Shields said.

"We used $10,000 from the Commander's Emergency Relief Program," he said. "The commander provided the money and some of the manpower, and together with a group -- a youth group called the Voice of the Youth of Mosul -- they completed the repairs to the nursing home. This included rebuilding the walls, patching the roof and installing air conditioning."

Shields dispelled rumors that the coalition was rationing water to coalition members. "There is not a water shortage," he said. "Right now every soldier is getting three of the one-and-a-half liter bottles of water along with as much water as they want out of our larger storage containers. The water containers are checked every day to make sure that they're good to go."

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