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U.S.-Iraqi Soldiers Target Terrorists, Seize Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2005 – Iraqi army and Task Force Baghdad units captured nine terrorists and confiscated a variety of weapons and explosive materials May 15.

In central Baghdad, a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol captured a self-professed bomb maker along with $4,500 in U.S. currency in sequential $100 bills and washing machine timers that could be used to detonate bombs.

Minutes later, Task Force Baghdad soldiers, acting on a tip from an Iraqi citizen, arrested five suspected terrorists thought to have participated in drive-by shootings in southeast Baghdad. Numerous cell phones, wires and bomb making materials were found with the suspects, officials said.

Earlier in the day, Task Force Baghdad soldiers captured another suspect identified as a supplier of explosives to terror cells and seized nearly five pounds of plastic explosives. Soldiers got a second targeted terror suspect in east Baghdad thought to be responsible for planning and conducting attacks against Iraqi civilians and multinational forces. And task force soldiers arrested a third suspect at an electronics store in south Baghdad.

"We are collecting better information on these terrorists," said Task Force Baghdad spokesman Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, citing the close cooperation between U.S. and Iraqi security forces "working hand in hand" on the front lines.

In other news, officials reported a car bomb exploded on a crowed street in east Baghdad May 14, killing four Iraqi civilians and wounding 10 others. Iraqi police and fire departments responded quickly, providing first aid and evacuating the wounded.

According to officials at the scene, bystanders were both frustrated by the continued terrorist attacks and were determined to overcome them. "The terrorists are trying to destroy Iraq," one unidentified person said. "We just want to live in peace - and we will."

"It is clear the people are frustrated with the terror," said Col. Joseph DiSalvo, commander of U.S. forces in the area. "In the long run these heinous acts will do nothing more than contribute to the demise and marginalization of the terrorists."

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq press release.)

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