U.S. troops thwart apparent bomb plots in Baqouba
Days after attacks that killed several police officers in Baqouba, Iraq, U.S. forces foiled two apparent bomb plots in the same city, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
In the first instance, soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team pulled over a suspicious vehicle at a road checkpoint. The car was “laced with wiring used to detonate explosives,” according to an Army news release, but no explosives were found.
The driver of the car was arrested by U.S. forces and the car was confiscated.
In the second incident, a vehicle tried to run through the same checkpoint later in the day. Soldiers fired on the vehicle killing the driver, officials said. When the vehicle rolled to a stop, two other men with AK-47 rifles piled out of the car and tried to run away.
One of the men escaped; the other was wounded and surrounded by U.S. troops.
“As the soldiers approached the wounded man,” the news release read, “they noticed he was wearing what appeared to be an explosive laden suicide belt. Soldiers guarded the man until an [explosives disposal] team arrived and removed the belt, which contained more than three pounds of plastic explosives.”
Elsewhere, U.S. soldiers in north central Iraq uncovered a huge cache of mortar rounds and artillery fuses near the city of Hawijah.
More than 400 mortar rounds, 250 pounds of explosive propellant, 878 artillery fuses, nearly 2,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition, a Russian-made anti-tank missile and an anti-personnel mine were found by soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team.
The cache was destroyed at the site.
Near Beiji, a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol found two weapons caches that included three mortar tubes, 60 rocket-propelled grenades, 35 pounds of explosives, 58 artillery shells and 300 anti-aircraft artillery rounds, officials said.