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Iraqi Forces Capture Murder Suspect; Blast Kills 63 Iraqis, Wounds 140

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2006 – Iraqi forces in Baghdad yesterday captured a man believed to be responsible for the January shooting death of a U.S. soldier and an interpreter, U.S. military officials reported.

Iraqi security forces, supported by coalition advisors, conducted the intelligence-focused early-morning raid at a two-story residence in the Mansour district, capturing their primary target without incident. No Iraqi or coalition forces or civilians were injured during this operation.

Also in Iraq, more than 60 Iraqis were killed and another 140 wounded when two makeshift car bombs detonated near a residential building Aug. 13. The explosion triggered a gas explosion at the nearby Hawra market in southeastern Baghdad. The combination of the car bombs and gas explosion caused the collapse of the residential building, officials said.

Iraqi security forces and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers responded to the scene to provide security and assisted with evacuating the injured.

In a separate incident, soldiers from 2nd Tank Brigade, 9th Iraqi Army Division, supported by U.S. soldiers from 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, detained seven suspected terrorists during a combined operation Aug. 12 north of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, 176 Iraqis from the Fallujah area signed up to join the Iraqi police force during a recruiting drive Aug. 12-13.

“In spite of the fact that the police are being targeted (by insurgents), these guys stand forward and join the force,” said Marine Col. Larry Nicholson, commander of Regimental Combat Team 5, which sponsored the drive. “That speaks more eloquently than any Iraqi or American commander can. They are voting with their feet.”

Within a week, the recruits will enroll in an eight-week training course offered by the Jordan International Police Training College. About 1,700 Iraqi police are serving in the Fallujah area, officials said.

“I want to protect my city and fight against terrorism,” one applicant said through an interpreter.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq new releases.)

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