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U.S. Forces in Iraq Nab Suspects, Find Weapons Caches

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2005 – Multinational forces from 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), detained 12 suspected terrorists and seized weapons in Mosul, Iraq, June 30.

Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, detained 10 individuals suspected of terrorist activity during three separate operations in southern Mosul.

Also, soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, detained one individual suspected of terrorist activity and seized weapons during two separate operations.

Also, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, detained one individual suspected of terrorist activity at a checkpoint in central Mosul. All suspects are in custody with no coalition force injuries reported.

Thanks to Iraqi civilian tipsters, U.S. soldiers from Company B, 3rd Battalion, 116th Armor Regiment, Task Force Liberty, discovered an unexploded ordnance cache in Kirkuk province June 29.

"By far, this is the biggest weapons cache the 116th has found," said 1st Lt. John Thew, Company B, 3rd Battalion, 116th Brigade Armor Regiment. "We have found in one day what usually takes four months." Iraqi police guarded the cache until morning, when explosive ordnance disposal troops arrived.

Weapons cache finds like this are important, said Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Becker, 506th Air Expeditionary Group EOD. "We've seen signs that terrorists are running low on ordnances to use on roadside improvised explosive devices and vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attacks. This makes it harder for (the terrorists), especially when we take out a major weapons cache."

Task Force Liberty soldiers found and destroyed eight different caches in Kirkuk province June 29 and 30. Several hundred artillery and mortar rounds of various sizes were destroyed in the operation. Unexploded ordnance was found at several different locations around Kirkuk, including 162 130 mm rounds, 141 122 mm rounds, 100 152 mm rounds, 91 120 mm rounds and 26 82 mm rounds.

Iraqi citizens assisted coalition forces in finding more than 4,000 pounds of high explosives located near Kirkuk Air Base during the past two days in two separate incidents.

In response to a tip, EOD recovered an ammunition cache of about 270 artillery projectiles about seven kilometers north of the air base June 30.

Officials had received another tip from a local Iraqi citizen about buried explosives on June 29. An Air Force EOD team found a buried cache of 400 artillery projectiles about 12 kilometers south of the base.

More than 670 potentially dangerous munitions have been destroyed due to the efforts of Iraqi citizens coming forward with this information, officials said.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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