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Al Qaeda videos found in Iraq weapons raid

U.S. soldiers stand guard in Baghdad's Karada neighborhood Tuesday.
U.S. soldiers stand guard in Baghdad's Karada neighborhood Tuesday.

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. forces operating in the so-called Sunni Triangle -- the region of Iraq most loyal to captured former dictator Saddam Hussein -- found a significant weapons cache that included al Qaeda literature and videotapes, the U.S. military said Tuesday.

Members of Task Force Ironhorse 2nd Infantry's Arrowhead Brigade discovered the material Monday morning at a site in Samarra, about 65 miles north-northwest of Baghdad. Some of the items were found hidden in a false wall, the military said.

The troops also found a British-made body armor plate with a bullet hole. U.S. Central Command said it was an indication that insurgents were testing the ceramic plate's ability to withstand expended anti-personnel ammunition.

In addition to the al Qaeda literature and videos, the troops found nearly 8,000 rounds of ammunition; 160 mortar rounds and six mortar tubes; 43 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and 79 rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs); and 19 AK-47 assault rifles, as well as dozens of other weapons.

The military also said a significant amount of C4 and TNT explosives material was found, as was material to make improvised explosive devices -- the crudely made bombs that have killed or maimed dozens of coalition troops.

That was just one of several large weapons caches uncovered in Iraq in the last two days.

The military did not say how it found out about the weapons, but a member of the Iraq Governing Council has said in recent days that Saddam has begun giving interrogators information about weapons arsenals used by insurgents to attack coalition forces.

Dr. Iyad Allawi, who is heading security issues at the Iraqi council, told two Arabic newspapers Monday that Saddam is giving the "names of people who know the location of hidden arsenals used in terrorist attacks." (Full story)

About 60 miles west of Baghdad, near the city of Ramadi, soldiers from the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division on Tuesday found bomb-making materials along with 46 mortar charges, 22 blasting caps, three RPG launchers, three RPGs and two AK-47s.

In northwestern Iraq, two mid-level Baath party leaders handed over weapons Monday to members of the 101st Airborne Division and Iraqi police -- a cache that included 48 AK-47s, 59 gun-clip magazines and a bag of ammunition. Two other lower-level Baathists turned in their personal weapons, the military said.

Members of the 101st Airborne Division also conducted raids in and around the northern city of Qayyarah, where they searched for people suspected of rocket attacks and carjackings.

The U.S. forces found more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, two AK-47s and 43 gun-clip magazines. One of the suspected carjackers later turned himself in to Iraqi police, according to the military.

Sporadic violence also was reported against Iraqi police and coalition forces:

• Two Iraqi police were shot dead in their car late Tuesday as they drove near Baghdad International Airport

• A roadside bomb attack on a U.S. military convoy in the heart of Baghdad early Tuesday killed one Iraqi and wounded three others

• Paratroopers with the 101st Airborne Division late Monday came under rocket-propelled grenade attack and small arms fire near the town of Habbaniyah. Three soldiers were wounded, including two who were evacuated to a field hospital for treatment after their vehicle suffered "significant damage," according to the military.


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