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Troops in Iraq Capture Five Suspects, Seize Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2008 – Coalition and Iraqi forces caught five suspected terrorists and seized two weapons caches in Iraq over the past three days, military officials said.

In separate raids in Baghdad today, troops captured a suspected kidnapping cell member and nabbed a man with alleged ties to al-Qaida leaders in Iraq and other countries. The operations targeted al-Qaida in Iraq's financial infrastructure around the Iraqi capital, military officials said.

In a related operation yesterday, coalition forces detained an alleged al-Qaida in Iraq financier and one additional suspect during a raid near Samarra, 70 miles north of Baghdad.

Elsewhere in Iraq yesterday, Iraqi security forces discovered two munitions caches in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad. An Iraqi citizen in the district’s Bayaa community turned over an 82 mm mortar round to Iraqi National Police. An explosive ordnance disposal unit removed the weapon. In the Saydiyah neighborhood about an hour later, Iraqi soldiers found two rocket-propelled grenades and two sticks of TNT in a house.

"The Iraqi security forces are continuously patrolling the Rashid district every day to provide a safe and secure environment for the Iraqi people," said Army Maj. Dave Olson, a spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team.

During operations July 21 in Baghdad’s Rashid district, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained a known member of an Iranian-backed “special group” in the Abu Tshir community. Military officials consider the detainee a roadside-bomb expert.

"Any time our soldiers detain a known, high-level criminal, we are reducing violence on the streets of Baghdad," Olson said. "Our efforts are focused on providing a safe and secure environment for the 1.5 million citizens of southern Baghdad."

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

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