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Iraqi, U.S., Scottish Troops Nab Terror Suspects, Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2005 – American and Iraqi troops, as well as a detachment of Scottish Guards, nabbed scores of suspected terrorists and weaponry during a series of actions across Iraq March 2 and today, Multinational Force Iraq officials reported.

Marines and soldiers serving with the 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, detained 26 suspected insurgents and seized several weapons caches during operations throughout Anbar province during the last 24 hours.

Captured weaponry included two AK-47 assault rifles, two machine guns, a rifle, more than 500 small-arms rounds, a 60 mm mortar round, four 130 mm mortar rounds, two hand grenades and two land mines. The munitions were later destroyed.

Insurgent propaganda and materials to make improvised-explosive devices also were found in the cache and destroyed.

Iraqi security forces and multinational troops also detained six people suspected of terrorist activity in northern Iraq March 2 and today, and Iraqi security force troops and multinational soldiers detained two people suspected of terrorist activities during cordon-and-search operations in southeastern Mosul today.

Elsewhere in Iraq, Multinational Force Iraq soldiers detained four people suspected of terrorist activity during March 2 raids in western Mosul.

Multinational forces detained one suspected terrorist, killed two and injured another during March 2 operations in northern Mosul. The individuals engaged by multinational troops had previously conducted rocket-propelled-grenade attacks against security forces, officials said. No MNF injuries were reported during the operation. The detention of the suspected terrorist resulted from a tip from an Iraqi citizen.

In southern Iraq, a search team from 1st Battalion Scots Guards recently found a significant arms cache hidden in a house in North Basra, military officials reported today.

The cache, which included a mortar, a heavy machine gun, RPG warheads, mines, grenades and thousands of rounds, was unearthed during an operation designed to quell tribal fighting between the Halaf and Garamsha tribes in the area.

Team leader Lance Sgt. Derek Hood, from Blackpool, England, said the search took more than six hours. "To find so many munitions, all in working order, was just what we trained for," Hood said. "It's a great result."

The house where the weapons were found was one of more than 20 targeted in a pre-dawn operation mounted by the Iraqi army, Iraqi police and coalition forces, including the Scots Guards.

The Scots Guards battalion usually is based in Munster, Germany, and deployed in October 2004 to provide an armored infantry reserve for the British-led multinational division responsible for southern Iraq. The battalion was involved in supporting the first free and democratic elections in Iraq in January.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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