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Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing; Search for Missing Soldier Continues

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2006 – A coalition helicopter made an emergency landing yesterday, and the search for a missing U.S. soldier continues, military officials said.

An MI-24 Polish helicopter made an emergency landing near Suwayrah, south of Baghdad, after taking small-arms fire. One coalition and one Iraqi soldier were wounded.

After landing in a secured landing zone, the wounded soldiers were medically evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. They are currently in stable condition. There was no significant damage to the aircraft, which was flying in support of a cordon-and-search operation conducted by 3rd Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division soldiers when the incident occurred.

On Oct. 27, Iraqi army and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers searched an “Office of Martyr Sadr” building and an adjacent structure in Rusafa, a neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, for an American soldier who was reportedly abducted from a relative’s house in the Baghdad area Oct. 23.

Acting on intelligence indicating the soldier was being held at that location, soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, and the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team conducted a combined cordon-and-search mission at the buildings. There were no reports of damage to the buildings.

In the main building, the soldiers detained three suspects who had traces of explosive residue on their bodies and seized two AK-47 assault rifles, a sniper rifle and a PKC assault rifle.

In three incidents in and around Baghdad on Oct. 26, coalition forces detained 12 suspected terrorists. They also seized multiple weapons.

Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained three terrorists and killed another involved in death-squad activity in Baghdad’s Mansour neighborhood.

While conducting security patrols in the area, soldiers from Multinational Division Baghdad’s 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team heard small-arms fire near their location and noticed three men, one of whom was wearing a black ski mask, running away from a building toward a getaway car. The soldiers immediately engaged the trio, killing one and wounding another. The third terrorist made it to the getaway vehicle, which was occupied by two more suspects. They sped off in an attempt to escape capture.

The soldiers engaged the vehicle causing the driver to run into a residential gate where the vehicle came to a halt.

Upon investigation of the vehicle, they detained two wounded and one uninjured terrorists. They also seized pipe bombs, hand grenades, AK-47 assault rifles, PKC assault rifles and a large amount of ammunition. Upon further investigation of the building, the three initial suspects had fled and the soldiers discovered the bodies of two Iraqi citizens who had been killed.

The three wounded terrorists received medical attention for their wounds and were detained for further questioning. An explosives team destroyed the munitions.

The same day in Tarmiya, north of Baghdad, patrols from 4th Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, supported by U.S. soldiers from 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conducted combined combat operations. The forces detained six terrorists and seized weapons.

The combined forces searched 60 houses and a mosque, seizing AK-47 assault rifles, a homemade grenade and anti-coalition propaganda. The Iraqi army soldiers entered the mosque as the Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers cordoned-off the area. One of the terrorists detained was carrying a cellular phone with a video showing attacks on coalition forces and was carrying $1,850.

In a separate incident the same day, four terrorists attacked soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team with small-arms fire in Baghdad’s Mansour neighborhood. The soldiers engaged the terrorists, apprehending three. One attacker fled.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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