US arrests 51 in raid on 'car bomb factory'

The US military has said it has put a suspected car-bomb factory in southern Baghdad out of action.

    Car bombings have claimed a high toll on police and civilians

    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

    locations.

     

    Captured

     

    "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.

    SOURCE: AFP


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