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Iraqi, U.S. Troops Find, Destroy Large Weapons Caches

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2005 – Iraqi soldiers and U.S. troops found and destroyed a treasure-trove of weapons caches during a three-day period Dec. 2-4. The enemy stockpiles included everything from rocket-propelled-grenade launchers to AK-47 assault rifles to artillery shells and hundreds of pounds of explosives and munitions, officials said.

Iraqi and U.S. troops discovered five weapons caches throughout north central Iraq Dec. 4. The largest cache included 27 artillery rounds, several hand grenades, a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher with six rounds, and an AK-47, officials noted. A joint patrol of soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, and U.S. Task Force 1-32 Cavalry, from the 101st Airborne Division, made the discovery in the village of Tamim, northwest of Kirkuk.

U.S. soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team discovered a 155 mm artillery shell, a large mortar round and 3,000 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition during a raid near Balad early on the morning of Dec. 4. Five suspected terrorists were detained at the site.

Another patrol, from Task Force 100-442 Infantry, found a small cache of two rocket-propelled-grenade launchers and two warheads near Balad Dec. 4. U.S. soldiers from the 101St Airborne Division seized two rockets while searching for gunmen who attacked them with small-arms fire near Kirkuk Dec. 4.

In other news, a tip from a local citizen resulted in the capture of two terror suspects and the discovery of a large weapons cache stored in a salt factory in western Rashid Dec. 3, officials said. When soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, searched the factory, they found: 23 60 mm mortar rounds, 20 82 mm mortar rounds, two 120 mm artillery rounds, 40 fuses, two rocket-propelled grenades, one grenade, and 200 rounds of small-arms ammunition.

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, discovered another large cache, containing 25 large mortar rounds and 50 detonating fuses, Dec. 3 in Tamim.

The list of terrorists weapons stockpiles found by U.S. troops and Iraqi soldiers keeps growing in the Baghdad area as well.

On Dec. 2, soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, discovered two significant weapons caches in southern Baghdad, officials said. While conducting a routine cordon and search of houses, soldiers of A Troop, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, found a small weapons cache, which led the troops to a larger find at the site, officials noted. The weapons stockpile included two 82 mm rockets, one 60 mm mortar tube, two 60 mm mortar rounds, and one small-arms tripod.

While an explosive ordnance disposal team was en route to the area, the soldiers continued searching the site and surrounding roads and field. They found one more site with multiple explosives, munitions and other suspicious materials.

When the cache site was excavated, the troops found a huge stockpile of weapons, including two complete mortar systems, one rocket-propelled-grenade launcher, 10 Iraqi army-issue flak jackets, 10 Iraqi army-issue uniforms, 20 pounds of homemade explosives, 33 rocket-propelled grenades, 36 86 mm mortars, 42 52 mm mortars, 21 120 mm mortars, 47 rocket-fired grenades, 34 "pick-up" mortars, 11 various rockets, and 3,000 anti-aircraft munitions. They also found thousands of rounds of ammunition and materials used to manufacture improvised explosive devices.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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