Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Troops in Iraq making big arrests and seizures

But you'll probably only hear about how many died today, not how many lives were potentially saved because of these arrets.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2005 – Iraqi Army troops and coalition forces captured 11 insurgents and seized six caches Dec. 13 in operations southeast of Baqubah, Iraq, military officials reported today.

The caches included eight anti-tank mines, six 155 mm artillery rounds, 48 assorted rockets, 48 mixed mortars rounds, 16 anti-personnel rocket-propelled grenades, 26 RPG boosters and a mortar tube assembly. Explosive ordnance disposal personnel were called in to destroy the munitions. The suspects are being detained pending further investigation.

Also on Dec. 13, Iraqi army soldiers and coalition forces uncovered a cache hidden in a cave north of Husaybah.

Troops found an RPG system, eight rockets, two cases of small machine-gun ammunition and an extra machine-gun barrel. Mattresses and other items suggested the cave was used as an insurgent safe house, officials said. The cache was destroyed in place, and the weapons were turned over to authorities.

Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 4th Battalion, 1st Iraqi Intervention Force, and coalition forces discovered a cache and a functioning roadside bomb Dec. 13 south of Fallujah after receiving a tip.

In addition to the bomb, the cache contained 20 120 mm mortar rounds, 17 88 mm mortar rounds, three 60 mm mortar rounds, a 150 mm artillery round, two guided missiles, six kilograms of TNT, three RPG rounds, a box of 20 mm anti-aircraft rounds, a machine gun and a box of machine gun ammunition.

A cordon of the area was established while the cache was inventoried and transported to a location where it was destroyed, officials said.

Iraqi police arrested five people who were transporting a bomb in their vehicle Dec. 12.

Police stopped the car at a checkpoint and one passenger jumped out of the vehicle and tried to escape. The suspect was caught, and the rest of the car's occupants were arrested after further investigation produced a concealed explosive device.

The bomb consisted of a 60 mm mortar round, TNT and plastic explosive contained in a metal box.

The provincial explosive ordnance disposal team took custody of the bomb, and the detainees were turned over to the Najaf police anti-crime Unit for processing and further investigation.

These are the kinds of stories that I think Americans would like to hear. That's a grip of munitions and some good arrests. Why not put that on the evening news or as a headline above the fold on the Paper of Record?