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Roadside Bombs Kill Four U.S. Soldiers in Baghdad

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2004 – Improvised explosive devices killed four Task Force Baghdad soldiers Oct. 12 and today, and an operation in Mosul netted 23 suspects and foiled another bomb attack, according to 1st Cavalry Division news releases.

Three soldiers died in eastern Baghdad the night of Oct. 12 as the convoy they were riding in passed by an IED. An IED killed a fourth soldier this morning in western Baghdad. Both incidents are under investigation.

Improvised explosive devices are the biggest killer in Iraq. They range from relatively unsophisticated trip-wire trigger mines to elaborate radio- controlled devices. Complicating the situation is that insurgents are making devices from the hundreds of thousands of pieces of ordnance left over from the Saddam Hussein regime. "There is no one solution to the problem," said a DoD official.

DoD is researching ways to counter the devices, both in country and in the United States. Officials said when a promising technology or procedure is developed, it is shared immediately among coalition forces in Iraq.

Soldiers and Marines in Iraq are developing tactics, techniques and procedures to combat the threat. Again, commanders share any idea that works with all members of the coalition.

But good intelligence is the best defense against the threat. Officials in Iraq said that Iraqi citizens are turning in IED makers. Other Iraqis are telling coalition forces where the IEDs are being planted.

Near Mosul, Iraqi security forces detected an IED in a trash bag. An Iraqi explosive ordnance demolition team destroyed the device in place. There were no casualties.

Also in Mosul, Iraqi National Guardsmen and soldiers of the Stryker Brigade Combat Team detained 23 people wanted for anti-Iraqi activities during Oct. 12 raids.

A release from Iraq said that members of the 109th Iraqi National Guard Battalion conducted a cordon-and-search operation in Tal Afar and detained 18 people wanted for planning and conducting attacks against Iraqi security forces and multinational forces.

Members of the 101st Iraqi National Guard Battalion and Stryker Brigade troopers also conducted a joint cordon-and-search operation in the Mosul neighborhood of Sudeek. They detained five people wanted for planning and conducting mortar attacks against military bases and intimidating local civilians.

In Ramadi, Iraqi security forces supported by U.S. Marines and soldiers searched seven mosques Oct. 12.

The Iraqis found bomb-making materials and insurgent propaganda. They detained four suspects. "Our participation in these raids was limited to supporting Iraqi Security Forces," said Brig. Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., 1st Marine Division assistant division commander in a press release.

Ramadi is in the Sunni Triangle and insurgents in the area have used the mosques as warehouses for weapons and explosives. The insurgents use mosques to plan attacks and harbor terrorists. "These raids sent a clear message to the insurgents that they can no longer use mosques as safe havens," said Dunford.

Under the rules of war, mosques are granted protective status because their religious and cultural significance. However, once they are used for military purposes they lose their protective status as places of religious worship.

Contact Author

Marine Brig. Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Assistant Commander, 1st Marine Division

Related Sites:
Multinational Force Iraq
1st Cavalry Division
Stryker Brigade Combat Team
1st Marine Division

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