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Rick Nielsen


Diwaniyah, Iraq. Iraqi security forces, directed by Governor Hazim Sha’alan and supported by the newly arrived American military forces have begun to restore the rule of law in Diwaniyah.

Iraqi and American forces attacked sites used by Muqtada al-Sadr's militia during earlier attacks on Iraqi civilians and coalition forces. Operations included a raid on Muqtada’s military headquarters and searches of surrounding buildings housing militia weapons caches. At the militia headquarters, 3 RPG-7s and 2 launchers, 4 RPG-9s, 4 boxes of 14.7mm ammunition, 4 105mm AP-HE rounds, 21 82mm HE mortar rounds, 1 60mm WP mortar round and 1 Type 69 AP RPG round.

Acting on information provided by Iraqi citizens, security forces searched the Intermediate Girl’s School across the street which the militia had ordered closed about two weeks ago. The forces found 18 60mm HE mortar rounds, 2 RPG-7 and 7 RPG-9 rounds, 1 82 mm WP round, 6 82mm HE mortar rounds, 71 M-6 fuses, 10 82mm mortar rounds, 5 60mm and 7 81mm illumination rounds, 10 lbs of propellant, 1 60mm and 1 82mm mortar tubes, and 160 rounds of AK-47 ammunition. Classes and reconstruction work at the school will begin soon.

Col Bradley May, 2nd ACR Commander, said the “citizens of Diwanyah should not tolerate the militia’s criminal violation of public facilities that has included storing arms in schools and using them as strong holds. We will continue to conduct patrols and engage Muqtada’s militia when they are encountered in Diwaniyah.” Col May went on to say that the coalition forces will take every possible precaution to avoid injuring non-combatants or destroying their homes and property. Further that American forces will work closely with local community and religious leaders to determine how best to support them in resolving the challenge to their freedom posed by Muqtada al-Sadr.

Henry Ensher, CPA representative in Diwaniyah praised the steadfastness of the legitimate Provincial authorities, including the Provincial Council in confronting the threat posed by criminals and terrorists. He added, “Citizens of Diwaniyah can be proud of the assistance they are continuing to provide the security forces in the process of restoring order.”



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