Soldiers destroyed a building thought to be used to make explosively formed penetrators in southern Baghdad and inadvertently caused a woman’s death while blowing up a cache of weapons, officials said Tuesday.
Maj. Kirk Luedeke, spokesman and public affairs officer for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, expressed “deepest sympathies” for the woman’s family.
“This unfortunate event is something we are investigating and will take precautionary measures to prevent from happening again,” he said in a press release issued by Multi-National Corps-Iraq.
Soldiers of Company A, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment found six EFPs, 24 sticks of C4 plastic explosive, a pipe bomb without an initiator and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher while searching abandoned buildings in the western Rashid district on Tuesday.
A house nearby was searched and a 105 mm artillery round with a satchel charge attached and duct tape coated with blood and hair were found, signs the place was used for torture.
After inspecting the houses, soldiers found materials thought to be used to help camouflage roadside bombs.
An explosive ordnance disposal unit detonated the cache, but the resulting explosion was more powerful than expected and collapsed a nearby home, officials said.
A woman was found dead in the rubble when soldiers searched it for any trapped civilians, officials said.
Earlier in the day, coalition aircraft dropped six bombs on a palm grove along the Tigris River in the eastern portion of the Rashid district.
Targeted were an infiltration route and possible cache storage site for al-Qaida in Iraq in an area used to conduct indirect-fire attacks against the Green Zone and coalition outposts, officials say.
There were no reports of injuries or collateral damage resulting from the airstrikes, officials say.
EFPs are a particular deadly type of armor-piercing roadside bomb. In April, U.S. military officials in Baghdad accused Iran of providing them to Shiites in Iraq, saying the “machining process” used to build them was traced to that country. Iranian officials denied the accusation.