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Terror Suspects Captured in Iraq; Operation Sword Continues

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2005 – Iraqi security forces detained eight suspected terrorists June 29 in eastern Baghdad during combined operations, military officials in Iraq reported.

Seven of the suspects were found with material used for the production and emplacement of roadside bombs. One had false Palestinian documents.

Elsewhere, an Iraqi army unit captured five suspected terrorists June 28 after an Iraqi citizen told the soldiers about a terrorist safe house in northern Baghdad's Rabi district. The Iraqi soldiers found two rocket-propelled grenade launchers and two RPG rounds in addition to the five suspects. The five terror suspects were taken into custody for questioning.

"The Iraqi people are tiring of the insurgency. Both hotline and in-person tips have increased greatly," said Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, a Task Force Baghdad spokesman. "A big reason for the increase in tips is because of the Iraqi soldiers taking the lead during raids and operations. The Iraqis will talk to their own soldiers much more readily than to coalition forces."

In other combat operations June 28, a Task Force Baghdad patrol in south Baghdad struck a roadside bomb at around 10:55 a.m. No one was injured in the attack, and no equipment was damaged. After securing the area, the soldiers noticed detonation cord leading from the bomb and followed the cord to a house about 200 yards away. When the unit arrived at the house, they found seven people acting suspiciously. The soldiers took them into custody for questioning.

Earlier in the day, a task force patrol working in northeastern Baghdad's Thawra district also struck a roadside bomb. No one was injured in the attack, and another coalition unit operating nearby helped secure the area and search for the attacker. The soldiers caught a man near the blast site with $1,000 in sequential U.S. bills and took him into custody for questioning.

In other news from Iraq, Marines, sailors and soldiers from Regimental Combat Team 2, composed of elements of 2nd Marine Regiment and 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Marine Division, continue conducting security operations along with Iraq security forces along the Euphrates River between the cities of Haditha and Hit.

Operation Sword, known as "Saif" in Arabic, began early June 28 and focuses on clearing insurgents and foreign fighters from the city of Hit. Thirteen men suspected of having insurgent ties have been detained.

Several hundred mortar and artillery rounds have been discovered, as well as explosives, rifles, a machine gun and various bomb-making materials. Troops also found two hidden and operable roadside bombs in Hit.

No major battles or air strikes have occurred. Basic utilities have not been disrupted, nor has access to medical treatment for Hit's citizens, officials said.

In other developments, Iraqi and U.S. soldiers worked together to secure the area around an oil pipeline that caught fire in southwestern Baghdad June 28 until Iraqi police and firefighters arrived to fight the blaze.

The fire occurred after Task Force Baghdad soldiers manning an observation point nearby heard three loud explosions.

No one was injured in the fire. The Iraqi Ministry of Oil has shut down the pipeline and is working to assess the damage. The incident is under investigation to determine the cause of the fire.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Task Force Baghdad news releases.)

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