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Roadside Bomb Kills Soldier; Ops Nab Fighters, Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2005 – A Task Force Baghdad soldier was killed Dec. 4 when his patrol struck an improvised explosive device in eastern Baghdad, officials reported today.

The soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In other news, five suspected terrorists were detained Dec. 4 after Iraqi police and U.S. troops found an IED near Bayji and a cache of IEDs near Kirkuk, officials said.

A joint patrol of Iraqi police and soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team discovered the IED cache waiting to be emplaced near Kirkuk. The roadside bombs were made up of 130 mm artillery shells with detonating devices attached. An Iraqi explosive ordnance disposal team inspected the IEDs and destroyed them in place. Iraq police detained two local men for questioning.

At about the same time, soldiers from the 101st's 3rd Brigade Combat Team found an IED near Bayji and called for an EOD team to defuse it. While en route to the site, the combat team escorting the EOD team was told that the bomb's triggermen were driving around the area in a gray vehicle. Combat team members stopped and searched a gray car with three passengers, finding a video camera and a long-range detonating device that matched the detonator on the IED.

"Terrorists often videotape their deadly work in order to use it as propaganda in the media and on the Internet," a spokesman noted.

After securing the detainees, the soldiers went to the IED site, where they found a large mortar round and a propane tank with 40 pounds of plastic explosives.

On Dec. 4, about 100 Iraqi soldiers and 400 U.S. soldiers in Ramadi launched Operation Rams, the sixth in a series of disruption operations aimed at neutralizing the insurgency in that region. The operation will also help set conditions for a successful Dec.15 election in Ramadi, capital city of Anbar province, officials noted.

The Iraqi soldiers are members of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Division. The American soldiers belong to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

"As a result of the recent operations, insurgent attacks against Iraqi civilians and both Iraqi and U.S. forces in the Ramadi area have decreased," a spokesman noted. "The operations target areas where semiautonomous, al Qaeda in Iraq-led insurgent cells are known to operate. The operations have resulted in the detention of dozens of insurgent cell members and the discovery and subsequent destruction of multiple weapons caches."

Elsewhere in Iraq, Iraqi soldiers and police joined forces in eastern Baghdad Dec. 3 to disable a bomb and prevent a terrorist attack, officials said. Iraqi soldiers patrolling the Sadr City section of Baghdad noticed a bag with protruding wires and called Iraqi police to investigate. The bag contained a landmine connected to a triggering device, which an explosive ordnance disposal team disarmed and destroyed.

Officials also reported that 24 terror suspects were taken off the streets of Baghdad's Rasheed district during a 12-hour period Dec. 3 and 4. The suspects were located based on tips from Iraqi citizens and intelligence reports.

In other action, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, conducted three cordon-and-search operations during which they captured nine insurgents:

  • Six individuals were detained in eastern Rasheed Dec. 3. One of the detainees was a known member of an al Qaeda bomb-making cell, and another individual is suspected of running safe houses used to smuggle terrorists into Baghdad, officials said.
  • A few hours later, another element from the 184th detained a targeted individual in Abu Dischir and another two at daybreak in Dora.
  • A tipster led soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, to two suspected terrorists in western Rasheed Dec. 3. Later, battalion soldiers captured three individuals in Jihad, where they had detained another individual the night before.
"The operation last night was a huge victory for the locals in Jihad," said Army 1st Lt. Reeon Brown, a platoon leader from Company A of the 3rd Battalion who led one the operations. "This man has spent months killing innocent Iraqis and Iraqi security forces. Now he is off the street thanks to the bravery of one local man. I want to thank him and let the Iraqi people know that they are the most powerful weapons in the fight against terrorists."

Farther south, in the rural areas of Baghdad, soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, also rounded up terror suspects, including nine individuals Dec. 4.

In the air war over Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 54 close-air-support missions Dec. 4 in support of coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities. A combination of 16 U.S. Air Force and Navy and Royal Australian Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Also, British Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Task Force Baghdad and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)

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Multinational Force Iraq
U.S. Central Command Air Forces

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