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5,000 weapon caches found in Iraq - MNF

BAGHDAD, Nov 6 (KUNA) -- Rear Admiral Greg Smith, MNF-I spokesman, announced Tuesday in a joint conference with Lt. Cmdr. Dowling, Task Force Troy, that 5,000 weapon cahces were found in Iraq since the beginning of 2007.
Smith went on saying that in the first 10 months of 2007, caches found and cleared by joint forces have doubled the entire volume of 2006 with the highest concentration of caches has been found in Anbar province.
This can be attributed to the increasing effectiveness of the Iraqi forces, and receiving tips from Iraqi citizens, the official indicated, adding the tips led to this increase in cache finds.
He stated that Improvised Explosives Devices (IED) attacks in October were equal to attacks in September 2004, and they have decreased by 50 percent since the start of the surge.
"We spoke of Irans malign influence in past, since they supplied EFPs and rockets into Iraq. However, the newest cache finds do not appear to have arrived in Iraq after Iran made pledges to cease this weapon exportation into Iraq," Smith said, adding "We hope to verify in the near future that Iran has honored their pledge." While the trends in cache finds were very encouraging, the MNF would continue to understand that there were innumerable challenges remaining in Iraq, he affirmed.
On another issue, the MNF spokesman revealed "we will release nine detainees to Iran since they no longer appear to be a threat and we expect more trilateral talks shortly." (end) mhg.gta KUNA 062055 Nov 07NNNN