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Iraqi, U.S. Troops Capture Terrorists, Weapons Caches

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31, 2005 – Iraqi and U.S. soldiers captured 23 suspected terrorists who were the targets of three raids Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 in northern Iraq. Elsewhere, Iraqi and U.S. forces captured weapons caches and rescued the kidnapped brother of a politician.

Soldiers from Iraq's 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 5th Army Division, and the U.S. 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, captured the primary target of the operation along with 10 more suspected terrorists west of Muqdadiyah, Iraw. The operation was designed to pick up a Baath Party leader who was behind many attacks on Iraqi and U.S. forces and the civilian population in the area.

Elsewhere, more soldiers from the same two units nabbed four anti-Iraqi forces as part of a time-sensitive raid on two houses in Muqdadiyah. The troops used tips from informants on the whereabouts of the four individuals who are believed to be responsible for IED and small-arms attacks against coalition and Iraqi security forces in the local area.

Troops from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment zeroed in on eight people involved in terrorist activities in Tal Afar. All eight of the suspects were picked up without incident in the raid and taken to a nearby military base for questioning. None of the soldiers involved in the two days of operations were injured.

Iraqi and U.S. forces in northern Iraq uncovered four weapons caches and detained two suspected terrorists Dec. 30.

Iraqi soldiers from the 5th Strategic Infrastructure Battalion discovered a cache of five preassembled IEDs near Kirkuk. The troops secured the site until a U.S. explosive ordnance disposal team arrived and safely detonated the devices.

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team discovered a second cache in Kirkuk. The patrol seized more than 80 anti-aircraft artillery shells and 117 detonating fuses. The unit took the explosives to a nearby military base for destruction.

First BCT soldiers also discovered a cache near Hawijah and detained two men Dec. 30. The cache consisted of two artillery shells, 30 pounds of explosive propellant, 30 detonating fuses and several other military items. Another small cache of artillery shells was discovered and seized by a patrol from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Tal Afar.

In other news, Iraqi police and army units successfully rescued the brother of a Salah ad Din Provincial Council member and arrested three suspects after a failed kidnapping attempt in Tikrit Dec. 29. Police chased the kidnappers from Tikrit to the village of Alam, about 10 miles east of the city, before the suspects abandoned their vehicle and dragged their victim into a nearby house. As the officers approached the building, the kidnappers opened fire on them.

The police secured the area around the house and called for support from a 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, unit stationed nearby. The Iraqi troopers, augmented by U.S. soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, entered the house and quickly subdued the suspects. No one was injured during the incident and police investigating the incident took the suspects into custody.

(From Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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