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Troops in Iraq Detain 20, Discover Multiple Weapons Caches

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2008 – Forces in Iraq detained 20 suspects and have found several weapons caches during operations over the last three days, military officials said.

Coalition forces in Mosul captured two wanted men and detained nine other al-Qaida in Iraq suspects during operations today.

One of the wanted men, an alleged bombing cell leader, was captured along with five suspected associates. The wanted man also is believed to manufacture bombs and target Iraqi and coalition forces.

The other wanted man has alleged ties to al-Qaida in Iraq senior leaders and was captured with four additional suspects. Officials said two of the suspects were injured when they jumped from the roof of the target building in an attempt to evade coalition forces. Another suspect, who was armed, received minor injuries when he was detained by coalition forces. All three suspects were treated on the scene by a coalition forces medic and transported to a military medical facility.

In operations yesterday:

-- U.S. soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division’s 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, captured a suspected militant leader in the New Baghdad security district of eastern Baghdad. The militant is a highly sought suspected criminal leader believed to be responsible for explosively formed projectile attacks, officials said.

-- Iraqi soldiers, with support from the 10th Mountain Division’s 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, conducted a clearance operation in the Muthanna area and captured a militant and two other suspects with ties to al-Qaida in Iraq in the Rusafa security district of eastern Baghdad.

-- Iraqi soldiers discovered two weapons caches in Baghdad’s Sadr City district. The caches contained various rounds, rocket-propelled grenades and charges, bomb-making materials, homemade bombs, and AK-47 assault rifles.

-- Iraqi and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers seized a number of weapons during several operations in Baghdad. The soldiers seized various rifles, a pistol, homemade bombs, hand grenades, various size rounds, bomb-making materials, and an electronic mortar-sighting system.

In operations June 14, Iraqi security forces detained five suspected al-Qaida in Iraq cell members in Balad during an operation to disrupt terrorist operations, officials said. One of the suspects is said to be a key leader within a terrorist network that provides a line of support through Balad and Dujayl.

Also June 14, Iraqi soldiers seized two weapons caches while conducting search operations in Sadr City. The caches contained mortar bases and mortar rounds, homemade-bomb initiation devices, grenades, AK-47 rifles and sniper rifles.

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

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