An army statement released on Saturday says occupation troops also discovered several other weapons storage areas around southern Baghdad and detained 51 people connected to a bomb-making cell.


"First Cavalry Division Soldiers recently uncovered a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) production site as well as a large weapons cache in southern Baghdad," the military said, using its term for car bomb.


"Soldiers from the 1st Battalion 8th Cavalry Regiment discovered four potential VBIED vehicles in various stages of completion and three safes containing more than 12 million Iraqi dinar and various documents and ledgers."


"Also found in the search were five AK-47 rifles, approximately

500 rounds, various timers, computer boards, wires and one sight for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Three individuals were taken in for questioning."


At another safe house, the soldiers found "partially assembled

improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, eight RPG rounds, approximately 50 pounds of C-4 explosives, TNT, five blasting caps, one detonator and other various munitions. The soldiers detained 30 individuals found at the site. All were brought in for questioning."


Eighteen more people were detained in raids on eight other





"The detainees are allegedly part of a cell responsible for placing IEDs that have killed two soldiers in the area. The soldiers believe they have captured the financier, the explosive device manufacturer, the spotter, and the triggerman."


Bombs and car bombs are regularly set off in Baghdad. More than 20 car bombs were detonated around the country in June ahead of Iraq's transfer of authority.


Hundreds were killed last month before the US-led occupation authority brought forward its ceremony to return power to Iraqis by two days to 28 June, amid fears of a spectacular attack.