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Iraqi Commandos Strike Insurgent Training Site

American Forces Press Service

TIKRIT, Iraq, March 22, 2005 – Members of Iraq's 1st Police Commando Battalion today discovered and attacked an apparent insurgent training facility in southwestern Salah Ad Din province.

The commandos are part of the interim Iraqi government's interior ministry.

The officers received both indirect and direct fire from the facility as they approached near Lake Tharthar on the border with Iraq's Anbar province, officials said. They attacked and forced the insurgents to break contact.

Elements of Task Force Liberty's Aviation Brigade provided supporting fire, and soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team responded to support the Iraqi commando attack.

An early assessment of the site indicates a facility for training insurgents, a Multinational Force Iraq statement said, adding that documentation at the facility indicates that some were foreign fighters.

Initial reports from the Ministry of Interior forces said seven Iraqi commandos were killed and six others were wounded. An undetermined number of insurgents and foreign fighters were killed at the site, officials said. No Task Force Liberty soldiers were reported wounded in the incident.

"Iraqis can take immense pride today in the conduct of their security forces," said Maj. Gen. Joseph J. Taluto, commander of the 42nd Infantry Division and Task Force Liberty. "Today's actions indicate how strong Iraqi security forces are becoming and how far they can reach."

Task Force Liberty consists of the Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters and base units along with the 116th Brigade Combat Team and 278th Regimental Combat Team, and the 1st and 3rd Brigade Combat Teams from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.

(From a Multinational Force Iraq news release.)

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