July 8th, 2007 09:02 EST
Village residents lead troops to caches
BAGHDAD — Residents of a village south of Baghdad, long a terrorist hot spot, led U.S. forces to major weapons caches near their town July 6.
Local villagers from Qarghuli took Soldiers of 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), out of Fort Drum, N.Y., to a series of 12 caches – and the insurgents responsible for them.
A local man who claimed to have knowledge of a large cache complex approached the patrol and walked the Soldiers from site to site, pointing out each cache. He then took the patrol to two men, whom he said were responsible for collecting and hiding the weapons.
One cache contained a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launching kit still its original box; six fuses for 82mm mortars, an 82mm round prepared as an improvised explosive device, two re-sealable plastic bags containing maps, books, a guard roster, a set of ballistic eyeglasses, two bags of homemade explosives (HME), a rocket launcher with two tubes, a rocket engine, a videotape and photos.
Another contained nine 60mm mortar rounds with 11 fuses, about 55 blasting caps, a block of HME, seven empty 60mm mortar shells, an RPG fuse, 18 feet of detonation cord, a ten-pound bag of black powder, and 28 rocket tips.
Another contained nine 120mm mortar rounds, two AK-47 rifles, two 105mm rounds, 20 pounds of HME, 20 AK-47 magazines, and several mortar fuses.
Another held 61 60mm rounds, five 120mm rounds and seven charges for the 120mm rounds.
An extensive cache contained a 107mm rocket, five hand grenades, a video camera, a 105mm round rigged as an IED, three grenade fuses, a front plate to a radio, two handheld walkie-talkies, 66 sticks of dynamite, 20 pounds of black powder, 20 blasting caps and 20 pounds of HME, 20 feet of detonation cord, a pressure plate for an IED, a sniper instruction CD, a long-range cordless telephone and a homemade boat with two paddles.
Another contained 43 mortar fuses, two AK-47 magazines, 18 load-bearing vests, a cellular telephone and battery, and 10 mortar primers.
Explosive ordnance disposal teams destroyed the explosives and several other items were seized for further examination.
The area where the caches were found is approximately one kilometer from the site of the May 12 attack where four U.S. Soldiers and an Iraqi soldier were killed and three U.S. Soldiers were captured. One of the Soldiers was later found dead in the Euphrates River, the remaining two are officially listed as “missing-captured.”
Residents, fed up with the violence plaguing their neighborhood, have repeatedly revealed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists in the area to patrolling Soldiers.
Two Iraqis associated with the caches were detained by the Soldiers and taken into custody for questioning.
(U.S. Army story by 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs)
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342