Search for missing reservist unsuccessful
November 24, 2006
American and Iraqi soldiers went into Baghdad’s most infamous slum on Thursday to conduct another unsuccessful raid to find Army Spc. Ahmed Kousay Altaie, a 41-year-old Iraqi-American Army reservist who was kidnapped in Baghdad one month ago.
American forces joined Iraqi army soldiers on the raid in Sadr City, the teeming Shiite slum in western Baghdad. The raid yielded five arrests.
Earlier this month, Army spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said the 50-plus raids that have been conducted in search of Altaie have thus far turned up more than three dozen detainees.
The searches have also resulted in the deaths of one American servicemember and two Iraqi personnel. Six American servicemembers have been wounded.
Yet there is still no sign of Altaie, who Army officials say was abducted Oct. 23 outside Baghdad’s heavily fortified International Zone.
Caldwell said over 3,000 American and Iraqi soldiers are dedicated to the search. The U.S. government is also offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to Altaie’s return.
During a press conference in Baghdad on Monday, Caldwell echoed his previous promises that the search will continue until Altaie is found.
“We will never stop looking for our servicemembers,” he said. “Everyone must know that we will continue our intensive efforts to locate Spc. Altaie.”
Elsewhere in the capital city on Thursday, American and Iraqi forces conducted two raids in the Samir and Al Doura neighborhoods.
Together, the two raids netted 10 detainees. In each raid, one suspected insurgent was wounded, treated and arrested. No Iraqi or American personnel were wounded in either operation.
In the restive Sunni city of Balad, American forces killed an armed insurgent and detained two suspects during a raid Wednesday evening. The raid was aimed at finding a suspected leader in the Al-Qaida in Mesopotamia network.
On Monday, Iraqi police forces captured 28 people near Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad. They were seized during a raid against an insurgent cell suspected of attacking Iraqi Security Forces and the kidnapping, extortion and murder of Iraqi civilians.
Detained were 10 suspected insurgents; 18 people with outstanding arrest warrants; and 15 people who were later released.