Forces Capture Dozens of Insurgents, Uncover Weapons Caches
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jul. 19, 2005 Joint raids by Iraqi and coalition forces have rounded up dozens of suspected terrorists and uncovered thousands of weapons and ammunition, according to military reports.
Coalition soldiers and Iraqi police raids today in Baghdad's Ameriyah district and Al Dora neighborhood led to the capture of four suspected terrorists, including an individual believed to be a mid-level terrorist cell leader with ties to Ansar Al Sunna.
The individual was wanted for selling and smuggling surface-to-air missiles that could be used against coalition aircraft.
During operations July 18, the military reported that Iraqi security forces and Task Force Baghdad soldiers detained 17 individuals and uncovered as many as six roadside bombs at various locations.
Iraqi citizens pointed out explosives to coalition soldiers in one incident.
The previous day, 29 more terror suspects were taken into custody, and three others were killed in separate operations. In a large military operation in east Baghdad, Iraqi Special Police commandos raided 19 targets and captured 24 more terror suspects.
The commandos also seized AK-47 assault rifles, a machine gun and a sniper rifle. They also found computer equipment and documents thought to be plans for future attacks.
In Mosul, Iraqi security and coalition forces from Task Force Freedom detained 20 suspected terrorists, and killed five more during operations July 17-18.
The task force also discovered a large weapons cache in western Mosul July 18. It consisted of more than 1,000 mortar rounds; 25 mortar firing systems; 150 rockets, 450 rocket-propelled grenade rounds; 26 RPG launchers; numerous missile firing systems; improvised explosive devices; and assorted rifles.
In a separate discovery that day, Iraqi and coalition forces found 26 surface-to-air missiles, 700 mortar rounds, 450 rocket-propelled grenades, and 150 57 mm artillery rockets hidden in the floor of a chicken coop.
Also south of Mosul outside the town Qayyarah, another weapons find turned up six 1,000-pound bombs.
The military also reported that Iraqi soldiers captured an individual today suspected of dealing artifacts believed stolen from the Baghdad Museum. The detainee said he was acting as a middleman for a buyer and that the artifacts, estimated to be between 2,000 and 5,000 years old, were worth $25,000 each. Three items believed to be artifacts were recovered.
In other news, a U.S. Marine assigned to 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), died as the result of a nonhostile incident July 17 at Camp Blue Diamond, in Ramadi, military officials in Baghdad today reported.
The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The incident is under investigation.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq, and Task Force Baghdad news releases.)