Marine Dies in Attack; Forces Capture Weapons, Kill Terrorists
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2005 A Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), died when his vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Saqlawiyah, Iraq, on Oct. 15.
No further details on the incident were available. The Marine's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Elsewhere in Iraq, coalition and Iraqi forces continue to meet success in finding weapons.
Task Force Baghdad soldiers acting on a tip from an Iraqi citizen seized a large weapons cache in western Baghdad Oct. 16. After receiving the tip, soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment, 48th Brigade Combat Team, went to the location the citizen described and detained three suspects at the cache site.
When the soldiers searched the area, they found 103 high-explosive rounds, 151 mortar rounds, six mortar tubes, 31 mortar fuses, five mortar base plates, two mortar tripods, and a mortar sighting device. The cache also contained two anti-tank weapons, an anti-aircraft machine gun, 10 sticks of dynamite, 19 rocket-propelled grenades, six hand grenades and various bomb-making materials. In addition, soldiers found one machine gun with a bipod mounting device, four rifles, sniper scopes, a silencer, and 8,000 rounds of ammunition.
The unit secured the cache site and continued searching for more weapons. The three suspects were taken into custody for questioning, officials said.
Elsewhere, coalition forces continued counter-terrorism operations in areas of Anbar province Oct. 16, killing an estimated 70 terrorists in separate actions.
At about 1:25 p.m., coalition forces conducted an air strike against a group of terrorists attempting to emplace an improvised explosive device east of Ramadi.
While conducting a combat air patrol, crewmembers from an F-15 saw 20 men arrive in four vehicles at the crater site of a previously detonated IED, which killed five U.S. and two Iraqi soldiers Oct. 15. The terrorists were emplacing another IED in the same spot when the F-15 killed them with a precision-guided bomb.
Later that evening, a UH-1N Huey and AH-1W Cobra helicopter team on patrol north of Ramadi was watching a group of military-age males gathered at a suspected terrorist safe house. After realizing their position had been compromised, the terrorists fled the scene and engaged the Cobra with small-arms fire. The Cobra returned fire with 20 mm munitions, killing an estimated 10 terrorists.
About 20 minutes later, a team of F/A-18s resumed observation at the suspected safe house, where they found an additional 35 to 40 terrorists loading their vehicles with weapons and driving to another location to unload the weapons. The F/A-18 targeted the terrorists with a precision-guided bomb, killing terrorists on the ground.
The combined strikes resulted in about 50 terrorists killed, the officials said.
The strikes took place in the Abu Faraj region, north of Ramadi, from which a large number of indirect-fire and IED attacks against civilians, Iraqi infrastructure, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces have originated.
At about 8 p.m., coalition forces guarding the government center in Ramadi were attacked by small-arms fire from multiple locations within an adjacent building. After requesting air support to neutralize the increasing volume of fire, an F/A-18 engaged the target with an AGM-65 Maverick guided missile at about 8:50 p.m. When the small-arms fire continued, coalition forces engaged the targets with two shoulder-mounted multipurpose assault weapons, resulting in the cessation of all movement from within the structure. Officials estimate one to three terrorists were killed in the strike.
Officials said all the attacks were timed and executed in a manner to reduce the possibility of collateral damage, and there were no reports of coalition or civilian casualties.
The attacks follow a successful nationwide constitutional referendum, in which terrorists caused no major disruptions at the polls in Anbar province.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Task Force Baghdad news releases.)