Friday, March 20, 2009

OIF Summary, March 20, 2009: Troops Uncover Weapons Stockpiles in Baghdad, Southern Iraq

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2009 -- Iraqi soldiers and police, along with U.S. soldiers, seized numerous enemy stockpiles in Baghdad and in southern Iraq in recent days, military officials reported.

Iraqi National Police officers and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers captured a massive weapons cache, including a sizable quantity of rockets, yesterday in eastern Baghdad’s 9 Nissan district.

Acting on a tip from a local resident, police officers and U.S. soldiers uncovered weapons at three sites in the district. After securing the sites, the police officers filled their vehicles to capacity to transport the munitions to a nearby joint security station.

The officers and their U.S. partners safely removed 29 rockets, more than 620 mortar rounds, 20 pounds of TNT, 15 anti-tank rounds, 44 rocket-propelled grenade rounds, along with primers, mortar fuses, gunpowder, additional explosive materials and bomb-making components.

In southern Iraq’s Maysan province March 16, Iraqi soldiers -- with the help of the Qalat Salih and Amarah police departments and the Amarah special weapons and tactics team -- recovered a large weapons cache.

The soldiers and police seized 255 grenades, 23 fuses, two cases of AK-47 assault rifle ammunition, a large bag of 12.7 mm ammunition, 12 82 mm mortar rounds, a mortar sighting device, 1,000 rounds of 14.5 mm armor-piercing ammunition, three AK-47s and 10 AK-47 magazines on a farm just north of Qalat Saleh. The troops and law enforcement officers also detained three suspected criminals during the operation.

The operation involved more than 400 personnel and multiple simultaneous objectives, officials said, and the joint effort disrupted a major smuggling effort the army and police were working to defeat.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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