Joint patrol finds propaganda material, weapons cache on Tikrit farm
TIKRIT, Iraq — American and Iraqi forces discovered large weapons caches and propaganda after raiding a farm complex they believe was being used as a safe house and for insurgent training, officials said Tuesday.
Task Force Liberty and Iraqi army soldiers found the complex after Iraqi soldiers were attacked Monday on a patrol in the area, according to a U.S. military statement. The Iraqis called in reinforcements from Task Force Liberty, commanded by the 42nd Infantry Division, and the joint force followed the suspected insurgents to a pair of large farmhouses.
After a raid on the houses, the forces found a huge stockpile of weapons and propaganda material. Among the munitions was a pair of vehicles rigged as car bombs, one using propane tanks and the other using TNT, officials said. Soldiers also seized a suicide bomber vest, two-dozen 57 mm rockets, 18 anti-tank rockets, 16 rocket-propelled grenades, 10 anti-tank mines, 20 mortar rounds and several automatic weapons.
“Also found was an Iraqi Army uniform, two al Qaeda flags, and al Qaeda flier, an al Qaeda Jihad book and miscellaneous medical equipment,” according to a U.S. military release. The explosives were destroyed by explosive ordnance experts.
The raid was conducted by the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division. It was supported by soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor.
U.S. officials said the suspected occupants of the house were captured later at a nearby hospital, where one of them was being treated for wounds received during the firefight. The military did not say how many people were detained.
Separately, U.S. military officials said the final tally of people arrested during a series of Baghdad sweeps last week was 78. The suspected insurgents were arrested in a series of 12 targeted raids and 66 search operations throughout Baghdad.