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Iraqis Play Key Role in Baghdad Security

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2008 – Iraqi security forces are playing “an integral role” in helping to bring peace and security to Baghdad, a U.S. deputy brigade commander said following recent joint operations that led to several arrests and seized weapons.

Iraqi National Police yesterday alerted coalition troops to a homemade bomb in southern Baghdad's Rashid district, and a few hours later found another explosive planted as a roadside bomb in the Saydiyah community, coalition officials reported.

U.S. soldiers with the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, assisted the Iraqis until an explosive ordnance team arrived on the site in a neighborhood of the Jihad community. Iraqi soldiers detained two suspects in the operation.

Soldiers with the 1st Brigade Combat Team later that night arrested a suspected member of a terrorist cell operating in the Jihad community.

"The soldiers of the 'Raider' Brigade are committed to assisting the Iraqi security forces in their ongoing security missions in the Rashid district of Baghdad," said Army Lt. Col. Paul Hossenlopp, deputy commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team. "We are working with our Iraqi counterparts hand in hand to keep the criminals, thugs and terrorists from the streets of Baghdad. The ISF continue to play an integral role in assisting us in defeating the enemy, defeating [improvised explosive devices] and denying the enemy a safe haven in Baghdad."

Meanwhile, Iraqi and Macedonian soldiers attached to Multinational Division Baghdad also are working together to rid Iraq’s capital city of illegal weapons caches.

While on patrol north of Baghdad yesterday, the Macedonian rangers discovered a cache of weapons that included two inert 550 French-manufactured air-to-air missiles and a 185 mm high-explosive projectile.

Later that night, Iraqi soldiers found a weapons cache while on a cordon-and-search mission in Baghdad's Mansour district. The cache included five concussion grenades, a rocket-propelled grenade, multiple wireless radio communications and monitoring equipment and a roster of Iranian-backed “special groups” members.

Those finds followed operations last weekend in which a “Sons of Iraq” citizen security group led Iraqi soldiers to three small caches in the Al Jabour area south of Baghdad. The caches contained three boxes of 14.5 mm rounds, five anti-tank mines and two 57 mm mortars. The items were taken to Patrol Base Hawks to be destroyed by controlled detonation.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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