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Coalition, Iraqi Forces Detain 18, Find Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2008 – Coalition forces detained 18 suspected terrorists and discovered weapons caches during recent operations in Iraq, military officials said.

Coalition forces captured 16 suspected terrorists in separate operations today in Baghdad and Mosul.

An alleged car-bombing cell leader, three suspected subordinate leaders and five suspected cell members were detained during operations in Baghdad.

The individuals reportedly manufacture and distribute car bombs while staging attacks on local security forces. Coalition forces believe the suspects were in the process of “planning an imminent attack” on U.S. and Iraq forces in the area, officials said.

Intelligence gathered from a June 12 operation resulted in coalition forces detaining seven suspected al-Qaida operatives in Mosul. The individuals are believed to be “associates of al-Qaida senior leadership” in Iraq.

One suspect was injured during an attempt to flee the area after ignoring warning shots by the troops. The individual was treated on site by coalition medics and transported to a nearby military medical facility, officials said.

In operations yesterday:

-- In Baghdad’s Sadr City district, Iraqi soldiers found eight drums of automatic machine gun rounds, seven rocket-propelled grenades with two launchers, two AK-47 assault rifles with rounds, a radio with charger and explosive initiation wire with 14 initiation devices.

-- In Baghdad’s Mansour district, a man found a mortar round with fuses while digging in his garden. He reported and turned in the round to local police, officials said.

-- U.S. soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team discovered 500 feet of detonation cord and four artillery rounds in western Baghdad.

Operations June 14 in Baghdad’s Jahida district led U.S. soldiers from 10th Mountain Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team detained two suspected Iranian-backed “special groups” members. During the operations, the troops found several assault rifles, a pistol and various bomb-making materials.

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

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