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Soldier Killed Near Ramadi; More Suspects, Weapons Seized

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2005 – A soldier was killed June 21 by small-arms fire during combat operations near Ramadi, Iraq, according to U.S. officials at Camp Fallujah.

The name of the soldier, who was assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

The combat team is an Army unit assigned to the expeditionary force in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In the Baghdad area, Iraqi and Task Force Baghdad soldiers seized 12 suspected terrorists in a series of offensive operations conducted to neutralize, capture or kill anti-Iraqi forces in three different areas of the city today, officials said.

Shortly after midnight, Iraqi soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, began a search of homes thought to harbor terrorists in central Baghdad. In an hour -and -a half, the Iraqi soldiers took three terror suspects into custody and seized one computer. Six hours later, Iraqi soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, conducted a joint cordon-and-search operation with coalition forces in the Atifiya district of central Baghdad. The joint force apprehended six terror suspects.

"Iraqi security forces are becoming more independent and more confident in their own capabilities," said Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, a Task Force Baghdad spokesman. "They're taking the lead in these missions, and are training for even more complicated missions."

At 3:10 a.m. today, Task Force Baghdad soldiers raided a suspected terror cell whose members are thought to have participated in terrorist attacks in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib district. The soldiers captured three more terror suspects during the operation. Iraqi and coalition forces also captured 16 terror suspects, seized weapons and foiled bomb attacks against a police station and four other targets in and around Baghdad on June 21.

The largest operation of the day was conducted by Iraqi police in the Bab Al Sheikh district of central Baghdad. The police took eight terror suspects into custody and seized eight AK-47 assault rifles, a pistol and a stolen Iraqi police motorcycle.

Later, at 6:50 p.m., Task Force Baghdad soldiers in south Baghdad caught two terror suspects detonating a roadside bomb with a remote control. The soldiers searched the men and found $900. Both suspects were taken into custody for questioning.

Less than 30 minutes later, Iraqi forces from the Ministry of the Interior's 3rd Public Order Battalion found three 130 mm artillery rounds wired together at the Salman Pak police station. The Iraqi forces disarmed the bombs and turned them over to the police.

At 7:30 p.m., acting on a tip from an Iraqi citizen, Iraqi soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, found six rocket-propelled grenade rounds and 29 rocket charges hidden in a sewer manhole.

"This is at least the third time in two days that Iraqi citizens have come forward to provide Iraqi and coalition forces tips on the whereabouts of terrorists and locations of weapons caches," said Kent. "Some of these tips have led to large numbers of terrorists being picked up and their weapons taken away."

Earlier in the day, shortly after noon, a Task Force Baghdad unit patrolling on foot in the Khadamiyah district was fired upon. The patrol returned fire and hit the attacker in the leg. After treating the terrorist's wounds, the patrol took him into custody for questioning.

In other combat operations, a Task Force Baghdad unit in west Baghdad captured three more terrorists after a roadside bomb exploded near their convoy.

Coalition forces in southwest Baghdad conducted a cordon-and-search mission at 9:40 a.m. in southwest Baghdad and apprehended two suspects for weapons violations. The suspects had 10 AK-47 rifles, a submachine gun, a hunting rifle, a pistol, nearly 800 rounds of ammunition and 14 assault rifle magazines in their house. Task Force Baghdad soldiers also found roadside bombs at three different locations in south and northwest Baghdad before terrorists could use them. At each site, the soldiers blocked traffic to keep anyone from getting hurt and called in explosives teams to safely dispose of the munitions.

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

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