Iraq Report: Iranian EFP cell taken down
Iraq has seen yet another relatively quiet day, with no major suicide bombings or large scale attacks. The largest reported incident occurred in Mussayab, south of Baghdad, where 3 were killed and four wounded after a suicide bomber attacked a police checkpoint. The large scale attacks appear to be coordinated and meted out over regular intervals.
The big news from Iraq today was an operation against a terror cell smuggling weapons from Iran and facilitating the movement of fighters between the countries. "The individuals targeted during the raids are suspected members of a secret cell terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq to Iran for terrorist training," noted the Multinational Forces Iraq press release. Six were captured, including two who are believed to be cell leaders.
Coalition and Iraqi Special forces have been active against these Iranian backed EFP cells. This is the sixth such raid on this network in less than two weeks, with 13 members of the EFP cells killed and 29 captured.
Iraqi civilians in Duluiyah in Salahadin province came to the aid of Iraqi police as they were attacked at their checkpoint in the city. "In response to the attack, 20 armed men from a nearby neighborhood assembled and quickly came to the aid of the policemen manning checkpoint," Multinational Forces Iraq stated. "This grass roots effort contributed a significant impact in thwarting the attack... local citizens also responded according to a plan they developed for neighborhood defense."
In neighboring Diyala province, "gunmen in four vehicles laid an ambush in central Baqubah for government accountants with one billion Iraqi dinars [$860,000] as a monthly social security program fund for poor families." Three American soldiers were killed in an unspecified location in Diyala after their vehicle was struck by an IED.
In Mosul, one of the two Mosul bridges struck by suicide car bombs on May 15 was repaired by U.S. Army engineers. Al Qaeda has struck 7 bridges spanning the rivers over the past two months. At least two were destroyed.