June 23rd, 2007 05:48 EST
CF, ISF searches yield torture chamber, bomb-rigged houses in Baqouba
BAQOUBA, Iraq – On day four of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, Task Force Lightning and Iraqi soldiers continued sweeping through Baqouba, Iraq, to root out al-Qaida in Iraq.
CF Soldiers worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the Iraqi soldiers and police officers in and around the city during the operations. Coalition ground forces and air support provided critical assistance in targeting and destroying al-Qaida operatives and their safe havens.
In the Khatoon neighborhood of Baqouba, ISF and CF discovered a building suspected of being used as a torture chamber. Ground forces observed various weapons, including knives and saws, inside the building as well as blood stains throughout the building. After securing the area, the building and its contents were destroyed by an attack helicopter armed with Hellfire missiles.
Also in Khatoon, CF destroyed two houses that contained 45 water heaters filled with homemade explosives, IED making materials and computer equipment. One of the houses also contained several booby trapped freezers.
Iraqi police were conducting security operations in and around the village of Khalis when Coalition attack helicopters from the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade and ground forces from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, observed 15-20 armed men attempting to circumvent the IPs and infiltrate the village.
The attack helicopters, armed with missiles, engaged and killed 17 al-Qaida gunmen and destroyed the vehicle they were using.
Since the beginning of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, at least 55 al-Qaida operatives have been killed, 23 have been detained, 16 weapons caches have been discovered, 28 improvised explosive devices have been destroyed and 12 booby-trapped structures have been destroyed.
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342