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U.S. Army unit rescues kidnapped Iraqis from insurgents
By Multi-National Force - West PAO
Dec 28, 2006 - 11:18:24 AM
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Hit, Iraq-U.S. Soldiers from the Friedburg, Germany-based 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division rescued two kidnapping victims after pursuing insurgents who were fleeing in three vehicles containing the captives. A search of the vehicles revealed multiple weapons and munitions. (Photo by U.S. Army)
Blackanthem Military News, CAMP AL ASAD, Iraq - U.S. forces rescued two Iraqis who were held captive by insurgents in the Euphrates River-city of Hit, Iraq, Wednesday.

Soldiers from the Friedburg, Germany-based 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division rescued the kidnapping victims after pursuing insurgents who were fleeing in three vehicles containing the captives.

In their escape, the insurgents fled on foot, abandoning their vehicles and victims.

The soldiers found the victims under a palm tree, handcuffed near the abandoned vehicles.

No one was killed or injured during the incident.

"This demonstrates Coalition forces’ ability to quickly respond," said Col. W. Blake Crowe, commanding officer for the Twentynine Palms, Calif.-based Regimental Combat Team 7.

RCT-7 is the Coalition forces unit responsible for training Iraqi security forces and providing security in communities throughout more than 30,000 square miles in western Al Anbar Province.

A search of the vehicles revealed multiple weapons and munitions as follows:

•    (7) RPGs
•    (5) Hand Grenades
•    (6) AK-47 Magazines
•    (1) Draganov sniper rifle with magazine
•    (1) 57 mm. Projectile
•    (3) Mortar propellant

Further investigation revealed that the kidnapping victims were relatives of Iraqi policemen in nearby cities.

Marines here say the insurgents view the developing Iraqi police forces throughout western Al Anbar as their greatest threat.

"They (insurgents) know that well-led, well-trained and well-equipped Iraqi police will defeat the insurgency", said Crowe.

Since RCT-7 assumed responsibility of the region in February, more than 2,800 Iraqi men have joined the ranks of police forces and are working in cities throughout western Al Anbar.

1-36 is responsible for training Iraqi security forces and providing security in Hit, in support of "Operation Al Majid."  Majid is an on-going, synchronized Coalition and Iraqi security forces "clearing and holding" operation intended to disrupt and defeat insurgent activity throughout more than 30,000 square miles in western Al Anbar Province.  The operation began late last month. 

The battalion deployed to Iraq in February.

ADDITIONAL PHOTO:

Hit, Iraq- U.S. Soldiers from the Friedburg, Germany-based 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division rescued two kidnapping victims after pursuing insurgents who were fleeing in three vehicles containing the captives. A search of the vehicles revealed multiple weapons and munitions. A Draganov sniper rifle was among various weapons and munitions captured. (Photo by U.S. Army)

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