7 militants, 5 weapons caches seized outside of Baqouba
Coalition forces Monday captured several insurgents and weapons caches near the hotly contested city of Baqouba, Iraq, where combat has spiked since “the surge” in Baghdad.
The troop buildup in the capital city has driven enemy fighters to Baqouba, 35 miles to the south.
U.S. troops in the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, along with Iraqi security forces, seized five weapons caches and seven detainees during an early-morning raid in Buhriz, an agricultural town near Baqouba, capital of Diyala province.
One insurgent was also killed, according a news release issued by Multi-National Corps – Iraq.
The seized weapons included hand grenades, small-arms munitions, artillery rounds and bomb-making materials, according to the release. One detainee is a “known al-Qaida emir,” according to military officials in the city.
Baqouba has long been a trouble spot in the relative calm of northern Iraq. But recent months have seen an upswing in the number of attacks by insurgents and their sophistication in the city and the surrounding province.
The 5,000-member 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division based in Diyala province has lost 44 soldiers in five months, twice the number who died in the previous year, according to the New York Times.