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Iraqi SWAT, U.S. Marines Capture 10 Suspected Insurgents

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2004 – An Iraqi special weapons and tactics team, backed by elements of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, captured 10 suspects in an Oct. 10 skirmish near the south-central Iraqi city of Lutafiyah.

The combined force came under small-arms fire en route to a suspected insurgent safe house. The attack was quickly repelled and the force moved on to the safe house, where Iraqi SWAT members detained 10 individuals, officials said.

One Marine suffered minor injuries during the mission.

Today's actions raised to more than 100 the number of suspected insurgents captured in Northern Babil province since Oct. 5, when Iraqi and U.S. forces launched a fresh operation to capture or kill anti-Iraqi forces and disrupt their activity, Multinational Force Iraq officials said in a written statement.

During the past week, according to the statement, Iraqi security forces, U.S. Marines and elements of an Army Stryker Brigade conducted numerous precision raids and cordon-and-knock searches throughout the province. They stepped up their patrols and swept through several key cities south of Baghdad, including Lutafiyah, Mahmudiyah, Yusufiyah, Iskandariyah, Haswah and Musayyib.

In seizing control of the Jurf As Sakhr Bridge, which spans the Euphrates River southwest of Baghdad, U.S. forces began choking off insurgent mobility, officials said. The bridge is believed to be a favored corridor for insurgents moving into and out of key cities, including the capital hub and the current anti-Iraqi force stronghold of Fallujah.

In addition to rounding up scores of wanted individuals and many other targets of opportunity, the combined force uncovered four weapons stockpiles and took hundreds of mortars, rockets, grenades, rifles, and bomb-making materials out of action.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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Multinational Force Iraq
24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

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