Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Eight Hostages Freed in Raid on Terrorist Stronghold

The army yesterday released details of an April 5th operation by Iraqi police and US soldiers, who staged a joint raid on insurgent-held buildings in southern Baghdad. They were directed to the buildings by local residents, who pointed them out. Eight hostages were freed and fifteen insurgents were captured.From the DVIDS MIL-PR site story (registration required):
After taking small-arms fire from buildings in Awhida, IPs and U.S. forces searched several blocks of the densely-populated residential area.

Many residents waved to the IPs, and pointed to the buildings where the terrorists were eventually captured. Several fleeing terrorists were also caught by a team of IPs as they moved to the south.

The joint force freed the hostages in two buildings during the raid. One said he was a 65-year-old schoolteacher and that his captors didn’t like what he was teaching.

“It was outstanding to watch the citizens of Awhida as their police force moved against the insurgents among them,” said Lt. Col. Steven Merkel, 1st Bn., 9th FA commander, “People got up on the roofs, standing on empty insurgent fighting positions, and pointed where they fled to. I think the citizens are ready to take back their neighborhood from (Anti-Iraqi Forces).”

Iraqi Police Raid Insurgent-Held Building
(Photo and coverage of raid by Spc. Ben Brody)