The occupation forces’ deputy director of operations, Brigadier General Mark Kimmit said on Friday 32 people were arrested in the operation on Thursday, including foreign nationals.
Three packages of TNT explosives, a 60 mm mortar tube, eight improvised grenades, bomb-making equipment, two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 11 assault rifles and two bags of gunpowder were among the weapons recovered in the raid, he told reporters.
“The Al-Tubul mosque was believed to have been a hub of anti-coalition and anti-Iraqi activities, with various cells using the mosque as a meeting location and weapons cache”
Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt
Kimmit said 32 people were arrested in the raid on the mosque, which he said was believed to have been used for “terror activities”.
“Over the last several months, the First Armoured Division in Baghdad has received numerous reports from local Iraqis that the Al-Tubul mosque had been used for criminal and terrorist activities,” he said.
“The Al-Tubul mosque was believed to have been a hub of anti-coalition and anti-Iraqi activities, with various cells using the mosque as a meeting location and weapons cache,” Kimmitt said.
He was referring to the Um al-Tubul mosque, renamed Ibn Taimiya, where a leading Sunni cleric was detained.
The raid on the mosque has angered local Muslims.
Separately, a fuel convoy was attacked on Friday afternoon west of Ramadi, 100 kilometres west of the capital, with a homemade bomb, small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, wounding three people, said Kimmitt.
He said two of the wounded remain hospitalised and one was released.
Also on Friday, a US army patrol was attacked on the southern outskirts of Baghdad with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire at noon.
Kimmitt said the soldiers’ Humvee burst into flames and flipped over and that there were casualties. He did not provide further details.