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Iraqis Respond to Arab League Attack; U.S. Forces Hunt Terrorists

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2005 – The deputy secretary-general of the Arab League was among a group of delegates who came under attack Oct. 10 from small-arms fire in northwestern Baghdad, , military officials reported.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment (Assault Helicopter), departs from Forward Operating Base Falcon carrying soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, in a hunt for terrorists Oct. 9. Photo by Spc. Jennifer D. Atkinson, USA

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

After hearing the gunfire, Amr Moussa and other Arab League delegates sought refuge in a nearby mosque.

Two platoons of Iraqi army soldiers responded to the incident and, despite coming under small-arms fire themselves, were able to safely evacuate the trapped delegates from the mosque.

In other developments, Task Force Baghdad aviation and ground forces combined efforts to defeat terrorists in southern Baghdad Oct. 9.

UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters assigned to 4th Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment (Assault Helicopter), and soldiers from 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, flew to the area for cordon-and-search missions at more than 30 houses.

One terrorist was killed and 15 others were detained during the combat operations.

The mission was focused on capturing terrorists believed to be responsible for improvised explosive device attacks last month, officials said.

Elsewhere, soldiers from Task Force Baghdad continued to deny terrorists access to unexploded ordnance during operations Oct. 9. In a sweep of a junkyard in Jisr Diyala, soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, collected more than 135 rounds of unexploded ordnance ranging in size from small mortars to heavy artillery shells.

"We have conducted five of these junkyard sweeps in the last two months and have collected about 1,500 rounds," said Army Pfc. Brandon Hoffpauir, a member of the team that specializes in finding ordnance.

Missions to clear areas of unexploded ordnance are often based on information gained through interaction with the local population.

"The Iraqi people are very good about providing us information," Hoffpauir said. "In one case, they told us about an area where insurgents had buried some munitions. When we dug up the site, we found 130 57 mm rockets still in their original box."

In other operations, soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Marine Division, discovered a significant weapons cache in Ramadi, Anbar's provincial capital.

The unit was conducting a cordon-and-search operation, which began early morning Oct. 9, to uncover suspected weapons caches at several garages and vacant buildings. Six suspected terrorists were detained.

The find included Soviet-made rockets and surface-to-air missiles, more than one hundred 120 mm mortar rounds, dozens of 81 mm and 60 mm mortar rounds, hand grenades, AK-47s and bomb-making materials. The contents of the cache will be destroyed.

Two additional caches were discovered in the Ramadi area within the past several weeks. One was located at a public soccer stadium and the other at an elementary school in the Malaab district.

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

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