Soldiers Kill Seven Terrorists, Seize Weapons in Iraq
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 25, 2005 U.S. soldiers have killed seven terrorists and seized weapons caches in Iraq, military officials in Baghdad reported today.
Task Force Liberty soldiers defeated a terrorist attack near Baqubah at about midnight today, killing three of the attackers. No coalition forces were injured in the attack, officials said, but they provided no further details.
Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, killed four terrorists who were trying to ambush Iraqi and multinational forces in northern Mosul on March 24. The U.S. soldiers also seized weapons that were the terrorists' vehicles, including two AK-47 assault rifles, an automatic rifle, two hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenade parts and ammunition. No Multinational Force injuries were reported during the incident.
An engagement near Tal Afar resulted in soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, seizing a number of weapons March 24. The soldiers returned fire on a vehicle following an attack and injured one terrorist. They detained another terrorist in the vehicle and found weapons that included an RPG launcher, three rifles and ammunition. The weapons were seized for future destruction, and no Multinational Force injuries were reported.
Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, discovered a large weapons cache during a March 24 search in southwestern Mosul. The cache included RPG rounds, a sniper rifle, an automatic rifle, two AK-47s, hand grenades and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. The weapons and ammunition were seized for future destruction. Various operations today yielded more weapons:
- Soldiers from 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), seized three large weapons caches in northern Iraq. No inventory of the weapons was immediately available.
- Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, discovered a large weapons cache during a search operation in Tal Afar. The cache included 37 mortar rounds, 50 mortar fuses, an RPG round, RPG parts and a blasting cap.
- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, discovered another weapons cache in Tal Afar. The cache included 40 mortar rounds and 50 mortar fuses.
- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, seized a number of weapons from a vehicle during a search in western Mosul. The weapons seized included an RPG, four RPG rounds and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
In other news from Iraq, a suicide car bomb detonated March 24 at an entry-control point in eastern Ramadi. Initial reports indicate the blast killed six and wounded 19 members of the 2nd Iraqi Special Police Commandos, officials said. Two U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi civilians were injured.
Entry-control points began outside the provincial capital Feb. 20 at the request of the Iraqi government, officials said. Both Iraqi security forces and U.S. military personnel assigned to the 2nd Marine Division man the control points.
"These terrorist attacks will not deter the soldiers and Marines from accomplishing their mission," said Brig. Gen. Joe J. McMenamin, assistant 2nd Marine Division commander. "This was an attack on Iraqi security forces who have sworn an oath to protect the citizens of Iraq."
A detainee questioned about a recent improvised explosive device attack led Task Force Baghdad soldiers to two weapons caches March 24. The first site had IEDs, IED components, caller ID boxes and voltmeters. At the second location, the soldiers found two 160 mm rockets and ammunition. The soldiers continued to search the area and discovered a third weapons cache containing RPGs, night-vision goggles and recoilless rifles. Task Force Baghdad soldiers also found another weapons cache containing three mortar rounds and an IED trigger device.
Coalition forces from the 2nd Marine Division have detained a total of 147 suspected insurgents since taking the Anbar province security and stabilization reins from the 1st Marine Division on March 17.
"Over the past few months, 1st and 2nd Division ... have pursued and captured many terrorists attempting to prevent a free Iraq," said Col. Bob Chase, chief operations officer for the 2nd Marine Division. "These are criminals and murderers who display wanton disregard for their fellow Iraqis."
Two Marine regimental combat teams and one Army brigade combat team that make up the division also have conducted numerous raids and operations over the last seven days, netting 14 mortar rounds; a 120 mm tank round; about 1,000 small-arms rounds; 66 rockets; 40 small arms of various types, including AK-47 assault rifles, shotguns, pistols and machine guns; Iraqi police and military uniforms; IED-making materials; and insurgent propaganda. "Tirelessly, our young Marines move through the countryside and deny the enemy solace, keeping him off-balance and under increasing pressure," said Chase. The raids and operations were conducted throughout the province with the cooperation of the Iraqi security forces.
"Our main effort since our arrival in Al Anbar is to accelerate the training and partnering of the emerging Iraqi security forces," Chase explained. The Iraqi forces provide what they call "eyes and tongues" that allow U.S. forces to discern foreign fighters and strangers, Chase said. "Most importantly," he added, "they are able to interface with the locals and get information Iraqis might be unwilling to share with U.S. personnel for fear of repercussions from the terrorists. "We will stand with them until their forces are ready to stand alone and can protect themselves from those that fear a united Iraq."
All the battalions from the Marine division have previously deployed in support of various operations around the globe, including service in Afghanistan, Haiti, the Horn of Africa and Iraq.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)