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Two Insurgents Killed, Eight Captured; Weapons Cache Found, Destroyed

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2006 – Two insurgents were killed and eight captured near Kirkuk, Iraq, April 1 after 101st Airborne Division soldiers spotted terrorists planting a homemade bomb near a road the soldiers frequently travel, military officials said today.

The soldiers initially spotted eight men exit a suspicious truck stopped alongside the road. The men quickly dropped several artillery rounds before driving to a nearby village, where about 10 more men gathered around the truck. Within minutes, the truck drove off, and four insurgents started walking toward the makeshift bomb.

Splitting into two teams, two team members positioned themselves off the road where they could observe traffic and the bomb. Meanwhile, the other team began laying wire through a field to the artillery rounds and then completed building the pressure-switch bomb. The second group then found a place from which they too could watch the explosion.

OH-58 Kiowa helicopter pilots from the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, engaged two of the insurgents with machine gun and rocket fire after being called in by leaders of 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment. The pilots were unable to spot the other two insurgents hiding in the field, so the 1st Battalion leaders ordered their men to fire 120 mm artillery rounds at the targets. Upon impact of the artillery rounds, one of the suspects began moving back to the village.

Soldiers searched 10 different structures, detaining eight suspected insurgents for questioning during a cordon-and-search operation. Three of the detainees tested positive for having contact with explosive residue.

Meanwhile, another element from the 1st Battalion secured the bomb site until the explosive ordnance disposal unit could arrive. While an explosive ordnance disposal team examined the bomb, 1st Battalion soldiers searched the field, confirming that two of the terrorists had been killed.

The EOD unit disposed of the device with an on-site controlled blast.

In other news from Iraq, Iraqi soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, and U.S. soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, found a large weapons cache in southern Babil province March 30. The cache consisted of 99 rocket-propelled-grenade launchers. An explosive ordnance disposal team disposed of the weapons.

(From Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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