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Iraqi, American Soldiers Engage Terrorists

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2006 – Iraqi and American soldiers successfully engaged terrorists and other anti-Iraqi forces in a series of recent operations, U.S. military officials reported.

Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Mountain Division, discovered two dead Iraqis with spent 9 mm casings next to them during a patrol in central Baghdad today.

Elsewhere, a checkpoint manned by Iraqi police and coalition forces in Kirkuk turned up four suspected terrorists today. Iraqi police and U.S. soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, established the surprise checkpoint early this morning in an area of town notorious for terrorist activity. As the police were administering the checkpoint, a vehicle was seen reversing its direction to avoid being checked. U.S. and Iraqi soldiers pursued the vehicle as it drove across open fields and empty lots to avoid being checked.

Soldiers fired at the vehicle, killing three male occupants. Another male was unhurt and was detained. All of the men were wearing Iraqi police uniforms, but none of them had official Iraqi police identification documents. The four men tested positive for explosives residue. A search of the vehicle yielded three AK-47 rifles, one sub-machine gun, and two pistols, officials said.

Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers also used a tip from a local Iraqi citizen to help detain a suspected kidnapping cell leader yesterday. The soldiers, from 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, detained the suspected criminal. In his home, they found a pistol, a sniper rifle, IED batteries, timers and circuit boards. En route to his house, the soldiers also found three decapitated Iraqi bodies on a nearby soccer field.

While searching three other houses in the area, the U.S. patrol detained three additional suspected criminals or terrorists. These searches yielded four 155 mm rounds, two with cell phones attached and rigged for detonation, numerous IED trigger devices, one AK-47 rifle, and anti-Iraqi forces literature. The two Iraqi army soldiers died and four were wounded when an improvised explosive device exploded in Tal Afar, Jan. 27. A second IED exploded while Iraqi soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division, were evacuating the casualties from the first IED explosion. No one was reported injured in that second IED explosion, officials said.

A third explosion occurred while the soldiers were conducting a cordon-and-search operation in the area. One Iraqi civilian was killed, another was wounded, and two Iraqi soldiers were killed in that explosion, officials said. Soldiers with Task Force Band of Brothers, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, immediately responded and searched the area where the third explosion occurred. These U.S. soldiers detained two suspects, who tested positive for explosive residue.

Also Jan. 27, Iraqi security forces backed up by U.S. soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, responded Jan. 27 to a call stating that organized terrorists had killed several civilians inside a mosque in central Baghdad. Subsequent reports indicated that 30 to 50 terrorists were operating within the mosque and were firing rocket-propelled grenades and small arms at Iraqi police nearby. Aviation air assets helped to resolve the situation. Three suspected terrorists have been detained in connection with the incident.

Elsewhere, soldiers with Task Force Band of Brothers found and destroyed an IED near Samarra Jan 26, thanks to a tip about men digging on a roadside berm. Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, investigated the tip and discovered two large artillery rounds placed in the berm. Tips from local residents have helped Iraqi and coalition forces stop dozens of attacks in the area, officials said.

(From Multinational Force Iraq and Task Force Band of Brothers news releases.)

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