Forces in Iraq Capture Dozens, Discover Weapons Caches
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 28, 2008 Forces in Iraq captured dozens of suspects and found multiple caches of weapons in recent days, military officials said.
Iraqi national policemen discovered a substantial munitions cache early this morning in the Aamel area of Rashid, in southeastern Baghdad.
The national police seized 11 explosively formed projectiles -- bombs specifically designed to pierce armored vehicles -- as well as various sizes of mortar rounds, various explosives, rocket-propelled-grenade launchers, sniper rifles, a machine gun, grenades, a rocket sled, mortar base plates, and several artillery timers.
“Taking these weapons off the streets of Baghdad is a tremendous step in safeguarding the people of Baghdad,” said Army Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a spokesman for Multinational Division Baghdad and 4th Infantry Division. “The national police continue to demonstrate their professionalism in keeping the local populace safe and secure.”
In operations yesterday:
-- Information from an April 21 operation led coalition forces to Mosul, where they detained four suspected terrorists believed to be associated with al-Qaida in Iraq senior leaders. This included a wanted man believed to have fled to Mosul to avoid pressure from Iraqi and coalition forces in western Iraq.
-- Iraqi police and local members of “Sons of Iraq,” a citizen security group, detained 41 men in the Salahuddin province. They also confiscated about 700 rounds of machine-gun ammunition from the detainees, officials said.
-- Iraqi soldiers found four weapons caches. They soldiers seized an RPG launcher and rocket, a trigger device, various size mortars and rounds, bomb-making materials, a homemade bomb, helmets, and life preservers.
-- Iraqi special operations forces captured three suspected Iranian-backed “special groups” enemy fighters in two separate operations around Baghdad. The two suspects are accused of kidnapping, torturing and killing Iraqi citizens. The third suspect is reported to be responsible for attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces, military officials said.
-- Iraqi soldiers took a number of weapons out of the control of enemy fighters during Operation Peace in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, seizing a total of 27 bombs designed to penetrate armored vehicles, and one mortar tube.
-- In two separate operations in Sadr City, Iraqi soldiers found assault rifles and ammunition, sniper rifles, two RPG launchers, mortar rounds and ammunition, a set of body armor, a radio, blasting caps, ammunition pouches, and a pair of binoculars.
-- An Iraqi led coalition forces to two large weapons caches near Duar, 18 miles south of Baghdad. The larger of the two caches, 30 meters from the second cache, was found buried 3 feet deep in the side of a hill. The combined caches contained more than 900 pounds of homemade explosives, various artillery and other military equipment and scores of rounds.
In operations May 26:
-- Coalition forces captured a wanted man believed to have been a leader of al-Qaida in Iraq since 2005. The suspect also allegedly was involved in an attack on U.S. troops near Donkey Island, in Anbar province, June 30, officials said. Seven other suspected terrorists also were captured.
-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained a suspected terrorist in Tarmiyah, northwest of Baghdad. Soldiers detained the suspect, who is accused of recruiting juveniles in the area to carry out attacks on Iraqi security forces and coalition forces. Military officials linked the suspect to an explosion at an Iraqi security checkpoint in the Tarmiyah area in which four Iraqi security force members were killed.
-- Iraqi special operations forces captured a suspected terrorist in eastern Mosul. The leader is suspected of operating an al-Qaida in Iraq cell in the Mosul area. Three other suspects were detained. The terrorist and his cell are suspected of being responsible for homemade-bomb attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces, officials said.
-- A tip led Multinational Division Center soldiers to about 900 pounds of homemade explosives north of Patrol Base Shanghai, about 22 kilometers southwest of Baghdad. In another operation, they uncovered a cache consisting of 18 50-pound bags of homemade explosive, military officials said.
-- Iraqi army and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers discovered RPG rounds and a machine gun in the Adhamiyah district. In another operation, soldiers seized an 82 mm mortar round, a rocket, two homemade bombs, 12 bags of gun powder, and two hand grenades in the Karkh district. In the Furat area of the Rashid district, soldiers seized an RPG launcher, two RPG warheads and two RPG boosters, military officials said.
-- During a cordon-and-search operation, the Iraqi army found a large weapons cache in Tamim province. The cache consisted of RPG launchers and rockets, hundreds of anti-aircraft artillery rounds, various propellant charges, a machine gun, hundreds of communication devices and more than 2,500 meters of detonation cord, officials said.
-- Iraqi security forces, a Sons of Iraq a security group, and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers discovered three weapons caches in Baghdad containing homemade explosives, mortar rounds, various rockets and fuses, assault rifles and hand grenades, officials said.
-- Iraqi army soldiers discovered a large explosives cache in Mosul. The cache consisted of homemade explosives, nitrate and liquid nitrate, oxygen tanks, gunpowder, and ball bearings. During operations Lion’s Roar and Mother of Two Springs, the Iraqi army and Iraqi police have discovered 40 weapons and explosives caches throughout Mosul and Ninevah province, military officials said.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)