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Task Force Liberty, Iraqi Army Find More Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2005 – More weapons caches were discovered in Iraq, military officials in Baghdad reported today.

Iraqi army and U.S. Task Force Liberty soldiers found more than 70 anti-tank mines near Miqdadiyah. Coalition forces assisted in de-fusing the mines.

"Finding and destroying these mines weakens the terrorists and criminals who would use these weapons to inflict violence on the good people of Iraq," said Maj. Gen. Joseph J. Taluto, commander of the 42nd Infantry Division and Task Force Liberty, which has been in Iraq since January in support of the local Iraqi security forces.

On March 21, Task Force Baghdad Marines, acting on a tip from a local resident, unearthed a buried weapons cache in southeast Baghdad. The cache included 30 mortar rounds, 60 hand grenades, 40 2-pound blocks of explosives, 4 pounds of TNT, 17 sticks of dynamite, two land mines and two automatic weapons.

The Marines also discovered 25 blasting caps, two multi-cap electronic detonation systems, five circuit breakers, numerous fuses, and a suicide vest.

No suspects were taken into custody.

Task Force Baghdad soldiers detained three men suspected of detonating an improvised explosive device near a patrol in east Baghdad on March 21.

No one was injured in the explosion.

After the explosion, the task force patrol saw three men running away through an alley. Another unit reported it saw the same men laying down wire near the IED detonation point. Minutes later, another patrol in east Baghdad stopped a civilian vehicle with three men inside.

The men all tested positive for explosive residue, which also was found on the vehicle's steering wheel and bumper, and on other items inside the vehicle, officials said.

(Compiled from Multinational Forces Iraq news releases.)

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