12 February 2008

Tip leads MND-C Soldiers to EFP cache

Staff Sgt. Daniel Butler, front, Spc. Tim O’Donnell, left, and Spc. Tim Davis process a cache of explosively formed penetrators discovered in a village southeast of Baghdad on Sunday. The soldiers are members of the 789th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company. Officers believe the cache belonged to an alleged Shiite militant who was arrested two weeks ago. Story and photo Michael Gisick / S&S

Members of 3rd Platoon, Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, which found the weapons, said they were led to them by members of a neighborhood militia group.

“The report we got was one [improvised explosive device],” said Sgt. 1st Class Max Donahue, 39, of Houston. Donahue said his patrol proceeded to a building described by the neighborhood militia members, where they found the EFPs inside a bag.

“As soon as I cut it open, I realized what we were really looking at,” he said.

Summing up the universal respect accorded to the weapon, Donahue said “they would have destroyed us if we’d hit them on a patrol. It would have been catastrophic death.”

The cache found Friday consisted of 13 EFPs, 37 blocks of C4 explosive, a mortar tube and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Officers said it was easily the largest EFP cache found in the area.

On Sunday, the platoon found five more EFPs, several shaped charges, 28 grenades, three RPG rounds and detonating devices hidden in the weeds of an abandoned field approximately 650 feet from the building where the earlier cache was found.

The explosives are believed to be of Iranian origin.

On Saturday, Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment captured a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq leader in the Abu Ghuraib region. He is thought to be a key facilitator of terrorist activities in southern Baghdad and is the regiment’s number-one, high-value target.

And on Monday, US troops and Iraqi Police captured a suspected commander of the Iranian-backed Special Groups in the Hillah area, south of Baghdad. He was reportedly in charge of Special Groups elements in Wasit, Babil and Najaf provinces and involved in the coordination of weapons shipments and the planning of attacks against Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces. More at The Long War Journal.

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