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Forces Keep Pressure on Terrorists, Criminals in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

Iraqi forces kept the pressure on terrorists over the past several days, capturing terrorists and shutting down their operations, military officials reported.

Iraqi police shut down a terrorist-run improvised explosive device factory in Mosul and arrested three suspects in southern Iraq during separate operations yesterday.

The Mosul bomb-making factory contained two bags of homemade explosives weighing about 150 pounds each, three bags of ammonium nitrate weighing about 10 pounds each and other IED-making materials. Iraqi police also detained one suspect. Iraqi and coalition soldiers were brought to the site to gather the materials for disposal.

“This is just another example of the great work the Iraqi police are doing to make their communities safer,” said Army Maj. Peggy Kageleiry, spokesperson for coalition forces posted north of Baghdad.

In southern Iraq, Iraqi Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) police, with coalition forces in support, arrested two suspected criminals in Maysan province and detained another criminal in Dhi Qar province. Since mid-June, Iraqi and coalition security forces have arrested more than 50 suspected criminals and seized more than 8,500 rounds of munitions during operations throughout Muthanna, Dhi Qar and Maysan provinces in southern Iraq.

During Oct. 11 operations, U.S. soldiers detained two suspected criminals and discovered a rocket during operations in Baghdad. The detainees are linked to an Oct. 10 vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack in the Abu T’shir community. Another group of U.S. soldiers discovered a 60 mm rocket during a patrol in the area.

In a separate operation, Iraqi security forces found a large munitions cache in Tikrit. The cache contained 700 artillery rounds and more than 300 large-caliber machine gun rounds. The cache was later destroyed by coalition forces.

Meanwhile, elements of the 3rd Iraqi Army Division in Rabiah captured two suspected terrorists believed to be part of a lethal smuggling ring with the ability to move freely across Iraqi's border to facilitate the movement of vehicles.

In Zaganiyah, Iraqi Special Operations Forces captured five people suspected of being members of an al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist cell. They are believed to be a part of a cell responsible for murder, kidnappings and attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces.

During Oct. 10 operations, Tips led Iraqi police and U.S. soldiers to seize separate weapons caches in Baghdad. Iraqi police seized seven 60 mm mortars, two 30 mm rifle grenades, two 57 mm warheads and a 60 mm warhead. U.S. soldiers confiscated 10 pounds of explosives, a 120 mm mortar tube, a 60 mm mortar tube and several rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition.

In Baghdad’s Rashid district, U.S. soldiers and Iraqi security forces discovered multiple weapon caches during operations. Iraqi soldiers discovered nearly 150 mortar rounds, 10 pounds of plastic explosives, two pounds of TNT, six rocket propelled grenade propellant sticks and various bomb making material while on patrol in the Karb De Gla community. An explosive ordnance disposal unit disposed of the munitions.

Meanwhile, Iraqi police found three rocket propelled grenades and a hand grenade in a house while on patrol in the Aamel community. U.S. soldiers discovered an 82 mm mortar round while on patrol in the Shurta community. An Iraqi munitions disposal team arrived to transport the ordnance.

Separately, Kirkuk Provincial Police captured a suspected Ansar Al-Sunna terrorist member with ties to al Qaeda. Officials believe the man to have organized multiple improvised explosive device attacks in the area since May 2008.

"These operations show the ability of Iraqi Security Forces to repeatedly capture criminals who undermine the security of Iraq," said Army Lt. Col Neil Harper, Multinational Corps Iraq, spokesman.

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