February 20th, 2007 05:13 EST
Weapons Seized,61 Terrorists Captured
Iraqi and coalition forces captured 61 suspected terrorists, destroyed five improvised explosive devices and seized several weapons caches during operations across Iraq in the past four days.
Today, special Iraqi army forces, along with coalition forces, destroyed a car rigged with an explosive device and captured seven suspected terrorists during a raid targeting foreign fighters east of Tikrit.
Forces found the car bomb during a search for a suspected terrorist with ties to the foreign fighter facilitator network, officials said. During a raid of the targeted area, coalition forces detained the individual along with six other suspected terrorists.
Further searching the area, ground forces discovered a vehicle on the property was rigged with an IED. After clearing the area of civilians, ground forces destroyed the vehicle.
More searching by ground forces led them to numerous AK-47s, a sniper rifle, two machine guns, a pistol and a footlocker filled with ammunition.
During an operation in southern Baghdad yesterday, special Iraqi army forces, along with coalition advisors, captured two suspected members of a rogue Jaysh Al-Mahdi militia cell.
The Iraqi-led operation was targeting a cell believed responsible for attacks against civilians in the area, officials said. The cell is also suspected of participating in the kidnapping, torture and murder of an Iraqi army officer in December 2006.
Elsewhere in Iraq yesterday, soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment "Golden Dragons," 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), found a weapons cache during a routine combat patrol 30 miles southwest of the capital near Radwaniyah. The cache, which was destroyed during a controlled detonation, consisted of four 2.5-inch rockets and four 60 mm mortar rounds.
The Golden Dragon troops also detained a suspected terrorist in the same area after they discovered IED-making materials.
Meanwhile, soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), and the 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army, seized an anti-aircraft heavy machine gun and ammunition during a combat patrol in Mahmudiyah, 20 miles southwest of Baghdad.
The cache consisted of a ZPU-1 anti-aircraft heavy machine gun, 20 30 mm rounds, a tripod and three spare barrels. The weapon was in firing condition and configured for use. The ammunition was destroyed during a controlled detonation conducted by an explosive ordnance team; the weapon was seized.
A two-day operation that began Feb. 16 in Quarghuli Village, southwest of Baghdad, let to the detention of 49 suspected terrorists and the discovery of three IEDs.
Soldiers from the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment "Polar Bears," 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment and the 4th
Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, conducted the clearing operation coined "Operation Polar Iron."
The two-day operation, which consisted of air and ground assaults, was conducted in order to disrupt insurgents believed to be operating in and around Quarghuli Village, long known as a terrorist safe haven, officials said.
During the operation, the soldiers received small-arms fire, but no one was hurt. The suspects were detained for further questioning. The explosive devices were detonated during a controlled detonation by an explosive ordnance team.
Another IED was detonated by a coalition explosive ordnance team after it was spotted by a patrol southwest of Baghdad Feb. 16.
Soldiers of Company A, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, “Wolverines,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), spotted the roadside bomb under an overpass while patrolling the major Iraqi highway known as Route Tampa.
The patrol stopped to cordon off the area and a civilian vehicle crossed the cordon.
Soldiers stopped the vehicle and conducted a search, uncovering two locked-and-loaded AK-47s, a 9 mm pistol, a hand grenade and a forged weapons permit. The two men were detained for questioning and the weapons seized.
(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)