1st ID soldiers capture suspects in mortar attacks
May 18, 2004
It’s hard to catch the hit-and-run guerrillas who fire mortars at U.S. bases in Iraq, but 1st Infantry Division troops nabbed suspects twice last week.
According to the unit’s daily public affairs brief, a patrol from the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment — a New York National Guard unit attached to the division’s 2nd Brigade in the Balad area — detained two suspects Wednesday after a mortar attack against Logistical Support Area Anaconda, a large air base just outside of Balad.
The attack occurred about 5:20 p.m. and injured 10 people, including seven soldiers and three non-American civilian workers, said Maj. Richard Spiegel, spokesman for the 13th Corps Support Command, based at Anaconda.
All of the injuries were considered minor.
Apache attack helicopters and other “aerial observation” allowed the 2-108 Infantry patrol to be dispatched to a house near the base where two men had fled after the attack, according to the 1st ID report.
After searching two vehicles, the patrol confiscated a blue pickup truck and an AK-47 assault rifle. Soldiers then took the two men to jail for questioning.
In the second incident, a combat patrol followed a white pickup truck after a mortar attack at 12:54 p.m. Sunday against a base near Baqouba, about 40 miles northeast of Baghdad.
The patrol, from the 2nd Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, based in Vilseck, Germany, tracked the truck to a house and found 10 people unloading a cache of weapons, according to the 1st ID report.
The cache included two Russian-made PKM machine guns with 2,600 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition.
Soldiers escorted three of the men to jail.