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U.S. Forces Capture Saddam Loyalist, Destroy Weapons Caches

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2003 – U.S. forces have captured a Saddam Hussein loyalist believed to have attacked coalition forces at a children's hospital and, with the help of Iraqi citizens in some cases, continue to find and destroy weapons caches, according to U.S. Central Command officials.

Acting on information provided by a local source, members of the 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team conducted a raid in Baqubah and captured the man suspected in a Sept. 6 grenade attack on a children's hospital in Baqubah in which three soldiers were killed. The soldiers detained nine others following the raid, CENTCOM reported in a news release announcing the capture.

The team also confiscated a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, hand grenades, blasting caps and a detonation cord, the release reported.

On Sept. 6, local people led U.S. soldiers to a weapons cache south of Bajar, CENTOM officials reported. The cache contained an RPG launcher, four AK-47 assault rifles and another assault rifle, a 9 mm pistol, 38 RPG booster rockets, 500 rounds of machine-gun ammunition, 21 loaded AK-47 magazines and 12 boxes of 12-gauge shotgun shells. The soldiers are from the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

CENTCOM also reported Sept. 6 that members of the 2nd Squadron (Sabre), 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment have raided possible safe houses and homes of suspected former regime loyalists and other subversive elements in and around Al Fallujah in recent weeks. The soldiers have found and destroyed more than 10,000 artillery and mortar rounds, dozens of mines and anti-tank weapons, two dozen missiles, hand grenades, other ammunition and small arms. Officials said the raids represent a proactive effort to root out and eliminate elements that are sabotaging coalition reconstruction efforts.

Two separate weapons seizures took place Sept. 4, CENTCOM officials said. Task Force Ironhorse soldiers detained a taxi driver who was acting suspiciously. A search of his taxi netted an RPG launcher, 12 RPG rounds, an AK-47 and an MP-5 submachine gun. Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division found a weapons cache northeast of Tikrit. The cache consisted of an RPG, an 82 mm mortar tube and three 82 mm rounds, and three 60 mm mortar rounds and 88 60 mm mortar fuses.

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