February 26th, 2006 11:52 EST
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2006 – A vehicle bomb killed five Iraqis today, and Iraqi and U.S. soldiers have continued to arrest suspected terrorists and find weapons, military officials reported.
Two Iraqi adults and three children were killed in Hillah when a minivan, which had been used as a taxi, exploded. The minivan was traveling in the southern district of Hillah when it reportedly was stopped. An unidentified man left the vehicle, entered a red sedan, and drove away. Moments later, the minivan exploded. The minivan's occupants suffered minor injuries and were taken to the Hillah medical treatment facility, officials said.
Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers from 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, arrived at the scene and verified this report with the Hillah police. Iraqi authorities are investigating the incident.
In other news, soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, yesterday detained 20 terrorism suspects believed to belong to two different bomb-making cells.
The suspects were detained during a cordon-and-search operation southwest of Muqdadiyah, prompted by an earlier bomb attack on the Iraqi unit as it patrolled a nearby major thoroughfare.
The suspects apparently were conducting a meeting when the Iraqi troops discovered and arrested them, officials said. They were found to possess ammunition, explosives, wire, cameras, and explosives initiators. The suspects and their supplies were turned over to authorities for further investigation.
Iraqi police yesterday found and reported bomb that was positioned in the median of a local road. The homemade device was a combination of two artillery shells rigged with two containers of fuel and a detonation device. The assembly was concealed with a tire.
Explosive ordnance disposal personnel responded to the scene and disassembled the device for subsequent disposal. No injuries or damage were reported.
Source: US State Dept.